SHOCKED staff at a Kirkby supermarket are now out of work - less than a week after being told the Haldanes Stores firm had gone into administration.
Twenty-two workers at the Station Road store are among 500 across the country facing redundancy after a letter was sent to branch managers warning they would cease to trade after the close of business yesterday.
Staff will be paid in full from Thursday until yesterday but they will have to claim their outstanding wages, holiday pay and statutory notice from the Government, which can take up to three months.
One staff member, who asked not to be named, said the closure would mean fewer shops for people in Kirkby.
He said; “There is Aldi but we have to wait for Morrisons to be built.
“We have to start looking for new jobs now. We have to apply for our redundancy and that could take up to 10 weeks. We are only getting paid for five days.”
He also said elderly shoppers relied on home deliveries but would now have to travel miles for their shopping.
Another worker said news of the closures had hit staff hard.
He said: “I had a customer crying because she is home-bound and cannot get her deliveries.
“I am shocked and upset but I have not had time to think - they only told us last Thursday. I am gong on holiday to Magaluf on Saturday so I will think about it when I get back.”
The news comes after the demolition of the town precinct earlier this month to make way for Morrisons, which will have 2,795 sqm of shop floor space and parking for 346 vehicles.
Haldanes was unavailable for comment but a statement from chief executive Arthur Harris reported on industry websites said: “The directors and I are devastated at having to take this step and our thoughts are with our employees who find themselves facing an uncertain future.
“We would like to publicly thank them for their efforts and loyalty during their time with Haldanes. We will work closely with the administrator and do our utmost to secure the future of a group of stores in the Haldanes estate.”
Joanne McGuiness, of the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied workers (Usdaw), said the news was devastating for its members.
“We have been receiving anecdotal evidence from members suggesting the chain has been struggling for a while,” she said.
“Our immediate priority is to support and represent our members through this very difficult and worrying time and we will be doing everything possible to help them secure alternative employment and to ensure they receive all monies and severance payments that they are entitled to.”
Kirkby Central Ashfield district councillor Cheryl Butler said the news was a blow, especially as it came so soon after the closure of the town’s Co-op.
“I really hope that the staff from Haldanes find employment soon,” she said.
“Hopefully Morrisons will create numerous jobs for our residents and help to start the much needed regeneration of Kirkby.’