Anger as Unilever fails to pay 450 workers
ANGRY factory workers and their families are furious they have not been paid – and claim the situation has spiralled out of control.
Unilever, the makers of Wall's ice cream and Marmite, failed to pay around 450 workers yesterday at the Barnwood factory. Although Unilever apologised yesterday, some employees said the problem has gone on for months and they have had to rely on payday loans.
Mum-of-two Sarah Woods, from Brockworth, whose husband has worked at the firm for 10 years, said: "I have £8 left in the bank and I've got a family to feed including two five-year-olds.
"Unilever must realise that many of us are families on low incomes. We don't even have money to pay for food this weekend.
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"This isn't the first time it has happened. There have been problems on and off since January.
"It has meant many people taking out payday loans. We took out a £250 loan last month which we were supposed to pay back yesterday. That hasn't happened so we are being charged an extra £200. We know of another four people on my husband's shift who have also taken out payday loans."
One employee, who did not want to be named, contacted The Citizen and said: "I checked my bank account and I was shocked we hadn't been paid. It's messed up our direct debits."
A Unilever manager tried to stop The Citizen speaking to workers as they clocked off at 2pm.
But one worker said: "To say we've not been paid for a while would be an understatement."
A spokesman for Unilever said last night: "We sincerely apologise to all of our employees who have been affected. We'd like to assure our colleagues that we're doing everything we can to resolve the problem with our provider, NorthgateArinso, and anticipate that the majority of employees will be paid in full by the end of the day.
"NorthgateArinso will fully reimburse all financial penalties incurred by employees due to late payment. Separately, we are aware there have been some recent issues with late overtime payment at our Gloucester site. We are currently investigating this and are working to rectify the situation."
NorthgateArinso was contacted by The Citizen but no-one was available to comment last night.