85 jobs to be axed at printers Polestar

Essex County Standard: '85 jobs' to be axed at printers Polestar '85 jobs' to be axed at printers Polestar

COLCHESTER print plant Polestar is closing, with the loss of about 85 jobs.

Employees at two sites owned by the print giant in Colchester were given the news by bosses on Monday, just days before Christmas.

Managers held a series of meetings at the Polestar sites, where workers were told they would have no job in the new year.

The move has been described as a body blow to Colchester’s industry by MP Sir Bob Russell.

It is understood the workers affected specialise on the M4000 press and in the binding section of the business.

Both are based on Severalls Industrial Park.

One worker who has been told his job will go, and asked not to be named, said: “We are seeing this as the beginning of the end for print here.

“It is dying and we’ve known that for some time – it has been inevitable.

“Unfortunately, it’s come at the time of year employers always do this, in the run-up to Christmas, which isn’t ideal. But, like I say, a lot of us have been preparing for this.

“People have been using their time to retrain and there are quite a few guys who are ready to be plasterers of plumbers, so they will be ready to look for work when it shuts.”

Up to seven jobs will remain, either at the third Colchester site or elsewhere in the country. The worker added: “The pay-off will help me retrain. I’m not scared of a bit of hard work.”

Another worker said: “I’m sure a lot of us will use this as a kind of clean slate. We’ve been worrying for so long and this is what we expected.”

Sir Bob said: “This is a body blow to what was a major printing industry in Colchester.

“I am clearly disappointed at the loss of jobs, particularly at this time of year, and I would like to have thought this could have been left until after Christmas.

“But that is the nature of big business. To them, the workforce is expendable.”

The Colchester sites were used as a base for the BT phonebook, until the contract was moved to Spain at short notice.

It now prints women’s magazines Best and Now, as well as music magazine Kerrang.

In August, the Gazette reported plans had been made by the company to move the M4000 to a more northern location where it would be closer to distribution centres.

Last year, staff at the Colchester sites agreed to take a10 per cent wage cut to stave off closure of the factory.

Polestar was contacted for comment but no one was available.

Comments (4)

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10:29am Wed 18 Dec 13

Smouldering Ewok says...

Really sorry to hear the bad news guys, i guess we always knew this was inevitable.
Having worked at Polestar for a few years i know many of you and i wish you all the best for the future.
This is a very sad day for print in Colchester and as always, such a rotten time of the year for this to happen.
Good luck guys in your future endeavors.
Really sorry to hear the bad news guys, i guess we always knew this was inevitable. Having worked at Polestar for a few years i know many of you and i wish you all the best for the future. This is a very sad day for print in Colchester and as always, such a rotten time of the year for this to happen. Good luck guys in your future endeavors. Smouldering Ewok

11:10am Wed 18 Dec 13

Say It As It Is OK? says...

Lets hope members of the FBU are reading this and finally they can think themselves to be very lucky not to be in the same position.

Good luck finding new jobs guys.
Lets hope members of the FBU are reading this and finally they can think themselves to be very lucky not to be in the same position. Good luck finding new jobs guys. Say It As It Is OK?

10:51am Thu 19 Dec 13

DShep says...

I was one of the original members of staff who moved to the main press room in the mid-eighties, leaving in 2006. I can honestly say that over the time I was there I worked with some great people no one was afraid to help others when they had problems, even the management were pretty fair.
I feel really sorry for those affected and hope none of them are out of work to long.
Shep (as I was known)
I was one of the original members of staff who moved to the main press room in the mid-eighties, leaving in 2006. I can honestly say that over the time I was there I worked with some great people no one was afraid to help others when they had problems, even the management were pretty fair. I feel really sorry for those affected and hope none of them are out of work to long. Shep (as I was known) DShep

7:47pm Thu 19 Dec 13

Dak1956 says...

Having also worked at Polestar in the past! I fully endorse Sheps comments, great bunch of workers and some very memorable times! Sad news for all affected, wishing you all The Best! And yes Shep how can we forget you good egg!
Having also worked at Polestar in the past! I fully endorse Sheps comments, great bunch of workers and some very memorable times! Sad news for all affected, wishing you all The Best! And yes Shep how can we forget you good egg! Dak1956

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