More jobs go but South Devon Thomas Cook branches 'escape'
MORE jobs have been lost in South Devon — but local Thomas Cook travel outlets have escaped a nationwide axe.
It has been claimed that Paignton-based hi-tech company Syntech Technologies have laid off 15 staff, although the firm have not been available to comment.
Five jobs have also gone at the Costcutter convenience store in Newton Abbot.
A shop floor assembly line worker who worked for Syntech for almost nine years, claimed she was one of those laid off.
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She said: "We're all devastated. I thought I would be there until I retired."
The former employee, who has never been on benefits, said: "I enjoyed working there. I don't know what I'm going to do now."
Despite repeated attempts to contact Syntech Technologies, nobody from their Aspen Way premises responded.
Five out of 12 workers have been made redundant following a short consultation at Newton Abbot's Costcutter store in Queen Street.
Selection for redundancy was made by using the company's scoring system that each employee could complete in store.
One worker, who didn't wish to be named said: "A member of staff burst into tears when they heard the news that they'd lost their job and was comforted by another worker."
A GMB spokesman claimed "Costcutter cuts costs by cutting loyal staff by means of a number game."
But a Costcutter spokesman said: "Having taken ownership of this store from an independent retailer, it became apparent that the trading levels of the business could not support the existing number of staff.
"Unfortunately, it was therefore necessary to make some redundancies.
"Accordingly, a formal redundancy process was followed in accordance with employment regulations."
The latest news came a week after major job losses at Buckfast Spinning Company and at Dreams bed store in Riviera Way, Torquay, and the possibility of up to 90 redundancies at Creative Foods in Coombe Lane, Watcombe, Torquay.
Torbay mayor Gordon Oliver and the Torbay Development Agency confirmed they have been in contact with Creative Food to offer support.
Organisations and district councils have been busy providing support for the 120 staff now jobless following the closure of Buckfast Spinning Company.
Teignbridge Council sent two officers to Buckfast to meet with the former workers. They saw more than 50 people and gave advice on council tax, housing benefit, homelessness and debt management.
Supermarket chain Morrisons has also now set up a food bank at its Coronation Road, Totnes, store to help former workers.
But there was a glimmer of hope for holiday firm Thomas Cook after all three branches in Newton Abbot, Torquay and Paignton escaped the axe. Last week, it was confirmed the company would close almost 200 of its outlets.