Up to 85 jobs may go at anti-terrorist firm Allen Vanguard
REDUNDANCIES could be on the cards at a Tewkesbury firm which specialises in making anti-terrorist devices.
Up to 85 jobs could be axed at Allen Vanguard, the Echo has learned.
Workers at its Ashchurch base are understood to be facing redundancy talks this week.
Bosses of the Canadian-owned firm, which employs more than 100 people, remained tight-lipped about the plans.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Sunday, May 26 2013
They declined to deny the proposed cutbacks, which could see the axe fall on more than three-quarters of the firm's county-based staff.
Staff said morale at the factory, which manufactures bomb detection equipment, has been "very poor" since news of the redundancies broke.
One employee, who wished to remain anonymous, said: "We have entered the first round of consultation meetings and the second round will take place in a fortnight. The morale among staff at the moment is very poor.
"Most of us feel although we are going through a consultation process, it is just a box-ticking exercise. The suspicion is that this is a done deal."
The company manufactures products including bomb detection equipment, bomb technician tools and jamming devices to prevent remote detonation of bombs by terrorists. Its expertise is used by security forces worldwide.
Bosses at the firm are understood to be considering transferring the majority of its UK operations to Canada.
Of the 105 employees based at the Ashchurch site, it is understood only 21 will remain as a UK support team if the cuts go ahead. Staff said they will be made aware of their fates on October 15.
The employee added: "Most of the employees are from around here and it will be a significant loss to the community.
"This is still a profitable site. But everything is shrinking in the defence and bomb disposal sector.
"It's a Canadian company and so it's only natural they will try to protect their interests in Canada ahead of those here."
Business leaders said it would be a blow to the area, which has become a stronghold for firms in the defence sector.
David Bloxham, chairman of the Tewkesbury Chamber of Commerce, said: "I have heard speculation that a significant number of jobs may be at risk.
"If this speculation proves to be correct it would be a serious and disappointing blow for our local economy."