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Redundant workers to get minimal payout

NEARLY 200 former factory workers have been told they will get only a fraction of the thousands of pounds of redundancy pay they were expecting.

Staff at Fintrade Technologies in Strood, which used to be called Alloy Wheels International, were made redundant in November last year after the firm went into receivership.

Administrators for the company now say it is insolvent and will be unable to make redundancy payments. Instead, the 180 former employees will get only the minimum state payout drastically short of what they were hoping for.

John Sullivan, who lives in Strood, worked for the company for nearly 20 years. He said: "We got a letter just before Christmas saying that the company was now insolvent and under administration and all we could claim for would be the Government redundancy payment.

"Under the contract I had while I was there for 18 years, I would have got something like £20,000. Now it looks like under the state payment I'm entitled to, I'll be lucky if I get between £5,000 and £8,000 - it is a lot of difference.

"The company shutting down was not so much of a problem if we were going to get our redundancy money because it would have given us a stable setting until we got another job.

"But now we are not even getting that. Just over a year ago I was made redundant from the job I'd done for the past 18 years. At that point I was entitled to about £20,000, but I decided to take an another job at the factory and continued working. I wish I had taken redundancy now; I was assured by senior management that I would still be entitled to my money even though I had changed jobs."

When the factory closed down, the staff went without pay for three weeks before redundancy notices were issued. Mr Sullivan said some workers were considering taking legal action against their former employers.

A Fintrade spokesman has previously said the company had had "no option" but to close down the factory for financial reasons.

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