Whiterigg Alpines staff put Christmas "on hold" after no pay

Staff at Whiterigg Alpines are "stuck between a rock and a hard place" waiting to be paid, according to reports from disgruntled workers.

The Lancashire-based firm has been unable to pay its staff salaries due to delays in winter funding coming through from its bank, director Lee Wrigley told HW.

Workers have not been paid last month's wage yet, Wrigley admitted, but said he expected the full salaries for November and December would be paid today (22 December).

However, staff at the alpine grower, which went into administration in April this year before being bought back by the Wrigley family on 10 August, said morale is extremely low.

"We have been working since November on a promise," explained one staff member, who did not wish to be named for fear of reprisal.

"There are bills to pay and Christmas has been put on hold for everyone. It is tough times."

Wrigley told HW that the problems had arisen because of the current financial market and bank lending.

He added that October had also been an issue, with staff receiving 50 per cent of their wage on time and 50 per cent seven days late.

"The financial market at this moment means that it has taken longer than anticipated to get the finances together," he explained. "We are just waiting for the funds to be transferred from the bank for our winter funding and hopefully staff will have the money transferred into their accounts tomorrow.

"We are actually paying staff earlier in December than usual, in time for Christmas."

But another staff member said there was "little confidence" among the workforce.

"All the workers are feeling really down," he added. "We are all still coming in but morale is very low. Everyone is really angry about it and it is very frustrating for us. We are stuck between a rock and a hard place because the feeling you get is that if you make waves you probably won't be in your job much longer."

Wrigley added that since coming out of administration, business had been good, with this month's accounts exceeding budgeted figures.


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