Friday, 29 July 2011

Take Over

Its been a hard and difficult couple of weeks. The atmosphere at work is at least difficult, at worst depressing and sad. I am watching lovely people still in a state of flux, not knowing if this month, next month, the month after will be their last month at work. A little information has been forthcoming from the new owners, but not a great deal. The majority of people who would be entitled to it, generally seem to want to stay and get their redundancy money, others who haven't been there that long seem resigned to looking around for another job - in an already unsteady market.

My boss, who is lovely, incredibly loyal, incredibly talented and incredibly hard working lady, up until Wednesday was very proactive and firmly believed that the take over could be a good thing for the business long term. We knew that hers and my position and a few others are not mirrored in the 'up north' head office and I think my boss was sort of hoping that we may be kept on to carry out our functions for both sites (Quality and Environmental Management, however after a meeting where my boss very nicely pointed put where the new comp are not legally compliant with a piece of legislation (last date for complying today), she was more or less told to go forth and multiply and they would do what they wanted, even though she pointed out the financial penalty cost, the fines, the risk of prosecution by the environment agency, the loss of business as we would have to declare on tenders that we have been prosecuted etc.

The attitude of the new MD and his technical manager both to my boss and to me today, leave a great deal to be desired and personal skills seem to have by passed both of them. It has left me feeling really sad and also very angry - not for me, but for my boss Claire, she is so talented and has been with our company for 12 years, to be put down the way that she was when all she was doing was her job of advising and protecting the company legally to ensure it meets its environmental obligations was appalling.

I don't think the next few weeks are going to get any easier......

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

What a Jump !!

On Monday me and Himself popped briefly into Tesco's - not a thing I like doing with Himself in tow, he sees things everywhere we 'need' - such as bags of toffees, poppcorn, crisps, biscuits, if fact if he sees it, well we must 'need' it, so I much prefer him not to come with me, but as we were getting milk for his work, he popped in with me, and nearly had a heart attack at some of the prices !

I think he still thinks that bread is about 15 pence a loaf and his brief whizz round the store was a bit of an eye opener.

I didn't buy anything other than the milk as I had planned to do a shop on my way up to home when I knew I would need to stop for petrol, but in all events I didn't.

I wish I had now ! The butter above, when we went in to Tescos on Monday was 1.10 per block, when I went back to do my shopping on Tuesday it was 1.27 !!!! A 17p jump - prices really are getting scary, they aren't just going up in pennies and tuppences, they really are leaping up in double digits.

I am lucky enough that for the moment I still have some wages coming in before I am laid off and I want to stock the store cupboard as well as I can, but I will be doing it not just to stay ahead of redundancy, but also to try to keep up with these huge price increases

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Not such a Good Day....

Yesterday was not one of the better days of my life. I joined the company that I work for just over 6 months ago on a job share position, working three days a week. My boss who I share with is lovely and we get on very very well. I have met some of the loveliest people that live on this planet who work for my company and there is a really great atmosphere there - many of the staff have been there for donkeys years - and even though we are in incredibly difficult economic times, we are making a profit, not a large one by previous years standards, but a profit no less.

Just over 2 months a go we had a series of audits - financial, health and safety and environmental (the latter ones are where come in). We knew that we were possibly up for sale and that as we had been sold to an investment bank a few years ago they wanted to make their money back.

So it was no surprise to us when we were informed 5 weeks ago that we had been bought by a competitor - A German company with a UK manufacturing base 'up North' that as far as we knew was not making a profit, although the German parent company (in Germany did)

The new bosses moved in, briefly, met all the staff and then we saw very little of them until yesterday when they announced that they are shutting our company (3 sites in the Midlands) and are moving everything 'up North' - timescale for the various sites is between Jan next year and December next year.

So effectively although it was nicely worded, nearly 400 hundred people were added to the unemployment figures. Oh they have said that their may be relocation packages, but I cant see many of the folks I work with de-camping their whole families and moving 2 hours away - if indeed they are offered the chance.

So the moral of the story seems to be, if you want to get ahead, buy up your successful competitors with foreign money to gain a well known marked place industry and consign yet another British company to the bin.

So, I am on notice of redundancy, date yet to be decided, but all they have to do is give me a months notice as I haven't been there long. My heart breaks for so many of the people I talked to yesterday, hard working ordinary people who's lives were turned up side down, who had got to go home and tell their families they would be losing, in some cases, their only source of income. As I said, I haven't been there long, but I will sure miss some of these people terribly.

Oh and just when you think it cant get much worse, Himself phoned last night to say that the contract work he had been lucky enough to get a couple of months ago, will now end next week, so both of us could be out of work. Doesn't look good for the mortgage......