Longbenton Foods challenges staff wage claims

By Elaine Watson

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Longbenton foods, Tyne and wear

Longbenton Foods challenges staff wage claims
Longbenton Foods has denied claims made by some staff at its Benton Lane frozen ready meals factory in Longbenton, Newcastle Upon Tyne, that they have not yet been paid in full for their services in January.

A representative from the firm told FoodManufacture.co.uk this morning (Feb 4): "It's not true that staff have not been paid." ​He declined to comment further and would not give his name.

However, one source told FoodManufacture.co.uk: “They weren’t paid last Thursday (Jan 27), and then when they came in on Friday, they received 50% of their pay and were told that the other 50% would be paid on Monday (Jan 31). But it wasn’t.

"The latest from a briefing last night is that they have been told that they will get paid the rest of their wages on Tuesday (Feb 8).

“Staff have still been turning up for work this week but everyone is really worried."

Problems at Amble site

Longbenton Foods recently hit the headlines over its attempt to buy the former Northumberland Foods factory in Amble out of administration.

While Longbenton paid a deposit before occupying the Amble factory late last year and exchanged contracts in October, administrator BegbiesTraynor claims it has not been paid the rest of the money owed, and has closed the site.

A spokeswoman for Begbies Traynor said: ”Given Longbenton Foods' continued inability to raise the necessary funding to complete the transaction, it is appropriate to rescind the contract​ [with Longbenton Foods].”

Longbenton Foods' owner Geir Frantzen has declined to comment, but is still assuring staff that the purchase has gone through, claimed another source: "How can the owner say he is buying Amble but cannot pay workers at the Longbenton site?"

Begbies Traynor is now selling the plant, machinery and property at Amble via auction.

“It is hoped that a purchaser can be found who is able to recommence production in Amble and the administrators are eager to talk to any interested party,​” said a spokeswoman.

The auction is due to close at 12pm on Wednesday February 23.

Related topics: Frozen

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