Cooplands staff walk out in Lincoln

Staff at Cooplands of Doncaster bakery firm in Lincoln have walked out, as they say they have not been paid for several weeks.

Employees at Cooplands of Doncaster, in the Carlton Centre, Lincoln, threw away produce and closed the store on 14 April in protest over the issue.

Katie Shipman, the store’s manager, said she was owed £1,400 and had not been paid for five weeks.

A spokesman for Cooplands, which employs over 175 people, admitted it was in arrears, but said it hoped to resolve the matter “within two months”.

Shipman said: “I and my staff were just fed up of being behind on our wages. We started off getting 50% of our wages every week, and then it was down to 25%, and now we’re only getting about 20% of our wages each week.

“It’s a nightmare because you cannot plan anything.”

Cooplands was placed into administration in February 2015. Of the estate, 41 stores and the mobile sandwich van fleet were sold to ReSolve, the London-based corporate restructure specialist, and remained open, while 39 were closed, as were the bakery and head office in Doncaster. 303 jobs were lost in total.  http://www.bakeryinfo.co.uk/news/fullstory.php/aid/14380/Cooplands_HQ_is_sold.html#sthash.PYL6y1Oe.dpuf

A spokesman for Cooplands told British Baker the company “massively regrets” the situation, and apologised for any hardship caused to any of its staff.

He said: “We are in arrears with paying wages. However, everybody gets paid something every week and there is no suggestion that wages won’t get paid.

“The situation is improving as business performance improves, and within two months we expect all wages to be paid up to date.”

Staff at the Lincoln shop, who say they’re owed £3,000 between them, were outraged after they were sent a note by the firm last week marked “wages, information and the way it is”.

"Bizarre"

It said managers don’t spend their mornings “flushing ten and twenty pound notes down the toilet, eating pan-fried lobster or snorting Oat So Simple through rolled up fifty pound notes”.

A local solicitor described the response as “bizarre”, and added: “I think these workers would have a good case for a claim in the small claims court or at an employment tribunal.”

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