FURIOUS workers are demanding action after an engineering firm went bust just three weeks before Christmas.
All 45 workers at the Anker group of companies, based on the Huncoat Business Park, have lost their jobs. They claim they had not been paid for over a month and were not given any notice.
The firm specialised in refurbishing plastic bottle-making machinery and was divided into four subsidiaries.
The 45 full-time and part-time staff were said to be "shocked and devastated'' by the news after the firm called in administrators and receivers BDO Stoy Hayward.
One worker, who did not wish to be named, said: "I'm disgusted but I'm more concerned about the people who haven't got any money to fall back on for Christmas.
"We haven't been paid since October. We had an inkling this decision was on the cards but they should have told us. We were working for nothing.
"The receivers came in last Monday and said we had to go by the afternoon. We didn't get any official notice."
"The firm has over-stretched itself. It would give too low a quote to a customer for the cost of refurbishing a machine and then it would have a problem paying the supplier for parts so the deal would go belly up."
Lorraine Thornber, who runs a recruitment firm in Rishton, said the company owed her £2,000.
She said: "This is a case of a small firm being conned by a big company. This has been a problem for some time. I am fortunate that my business is up and running or else I may have had to lay someone off myself."
Dermot Power, one of the joint administrators and receivers, said: "Unfortu-nately we have been unable to fund the ongoing business and as a consequence 45 redundancies were made. We are currently assessing the business and looking for buyers for the business assets."
Despite repeated attempts to make contact, no-one from the firm has been available for comment.