A GLOOM-laden Halloween is in store for Hyndburn today with over 100 workers at the town’s Nori brickworks and Thomas Cook call centre clocking off for the last time.
More than 70 redundancies at Huncoat’s Hanson Building Prod-ucts’ historic brickworks come into effect today, the same day as over 30 of the travel agent’s 250-strong workforce at the Globe complex are laid off.
A large number of Thomas Cook’s 250-strong call centre workforce have already quit, but bosses say that "over 100" employees will stay on until March working on temporary projects.
TSSA union regional organiser Kevin Lucas said: "In the long term it is closing so staff that want to leave have the opportunity to take redundancy as of Friday. People have accepted the redundancy pay package that has been tabled.
"However there will be short- term contracts available to staff who wish to stay on."
A Thomas Cook spokesperson said: "We would like to thank all our people in Accrington for the professionalism and dedication they have shown throughout the consultation process by continuing to provide an excellent service for customers.
"The sales centre for our cruise business will continue to work as normal and more than 100 people from both the general sales and operations teams will be retained until March.
"In advance of this, we are actively working with local empl-oyers to help secure future employment opportunities. We can confirm that 32 employees will leave at the end of this month though."
One of the Hanson brickies to lose their jobs in the "mothballing’’ of the site told the Observer that employees had managed to negotiate a favourable redundancy offer amounting to three times the statutory minimum, although ongoing disputes over holiday entitlement are anticipated.
He added that some workers only found out on Tuesday this week if they would be among the skeleton staff of employees retained until Christmas, but hoped that the brickworks could be brought back into operation once the current downturn in the economy improves.
"There’s hope that people will come back because we have quite a lot of knowledge and skills bet-ween us," he said.
"You cannot just go to the Jobcentre and ask Joe Bloggs to work at a brick factory. There’s probably about 400 years worth of experience between us."