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 user 2005-01-20 at 10:21:00 am Views: 74
  • #11384
    Former Xerox workers ‘worse off’
    Workers made redundant from the Xerox plant in Gloucestershire two years ago are still struggling to find jobs of equal pay and skill, a study reveals.

    Life After Xerox, which looks at the fate of more than 1,200 who lost their jobs, shows that 69% are worse off.

    The study, commissioned by the Forest of Dean Regeneration Partnership, will be used to support calls for new investment in the area.

    The photocopier manufacturer was a major employer in the area.

    More than one in 20 of the entire Forest of Dean’s working population was on the payroll of the Mitcheldean plant.

    Life After Xerox

    The report’s author, Chris Vidler, from the South West Trades Union Congress (TUC), said two-thirds of those interviewed reported a 20% fall in annual incomes.

    “That not only has repercussions for individuals, but it also has an impact on the local economy,” he said.

    “Another aspect is that a lot of work available is short term, there are considerable numbers who have been in more than one job.”

    Mr Vidler also raises concerns about the advice and help offered to workers at the time of the redundancies: “The rapid response fund is structured so that assistance focuses on a small window of opportunity.

    “Employees could only get additional training once they received their notice of redundancy, but once they left the factory gates, they were no longer entitled to training or support.”

    Still struggling

    One former worker told the BBC he was still living off his redundancy payment.

    Steve Venner set up a business with three colleagues recycling old computers and photocopiers for scrap.

    But two years after redundancy, he is still struggling: “You have to put your own money in and you’re not earning a wage, that’s the hard part.

    “We got our redundancy payment to live on. It’s hard on the family, you get yourself in debt.”

    The report also reveals that one in 10 ex-employees have left the area or now commute out of the Forest for work