News : Torfaen AM Demands Answers for Sacked Cwmbran Call Centre Staff
Cwmbran, Wales, Aug 4, 2015 -- The Assembly Member for Torfaen has called branded the situation at a Cwmbran call centre "a mess" and vowed to get answers regarding redundancy claims.
A public meeting was called by Lynne Neagle after claims from staff that around 120 employees had been made redundant at Griffin Place Communications.
More than 80 people attended the meeting held earlier today at Mount Pleasant Hall, Pontnewydd.
Former employees of the Llantarnam-based business explained how over a two week period groups of staff lost their jobs.
Ms Neagle was shown letters from staff that the company, which had received Welsh Government funding reported to be around £600,000 ahead of opening earlier this year, had gone into liquidation.
Ms Neagle said: "I will be pressing the Welsh Government for answers as to why they gave the company the money.
"Clearly something has gone terribly wrong here."
Ms Neagle also said that the company had not responded to the Welsh Government.
Also at the meeting was Torfaen MP Nick Thomas-Symonds.
He said: "I have heard horror stories about how staff have been treated."
Staff raised concerns about not receiving up to six weeks pay, being told by the company that they were losing their jobs due to their low performance, and having not received their P45s.
One woman said she demanded to speak to a company boss, but said they refused to meet her.
Ms Neagle agreed that it is unlikely that 120 staff could all have been underperforming.
"It was clearly an attempt by the company to limit their liability when it went into liquidation," she added.
A former employee also handed Ms Neagle a letter that states they are being offered a new job role with a different company.
But there are fears the job, and the company, do not exist.
Speaking after the meeting, Ms Neagle said: "Clearly this is a very complex situation and unfortunately there will be no quick-fix solutions.
"However, I will vigorously pursue this matter with the Welsh Government - the top priority must be to ensure people get paid the money their owed."
The call centre opened earlier this year after receiving Welsh Government funding in a bid to create 1,100 new, high-quality jobs for Wales, including 300 jobs at Griffin Place Communications.
A Welsh Government spokesman said they are actively trying to contact the company.
He added: "The support provided to the company by the Welsh Government stipulated that the jobs should be in place for at least three years.
"We will, with immediate effect, be seeking repayment of relevant grant sums."
Attempts were made to contact both Griffin Place Communications today.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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Published: Thursday, August 6, 2015