Evening Telegraph, 5th April 1975, by Adrian Higgins
No work Shock for 50 - A shoe factory's workforce was cut by a third when more than fifty employees lost their jobs yesterday.
The move, which shocked workers and their trade union, was at the Rushden firm of DB Shoes Ltd. The firm blamed the "extremely difficult trading and financial conditions of the past six months".
Mr John Denton, who heads the firm with his brother Hugh, broke the news yesterday morning to workers at the factory in Rectory Road, Rushden.
All departments are affected by the cuts. A statement from the firm says: "During the past six months we, like many others, have experienced extremely difficult trading and financial conditions".
"As it appears unlikely that there will be any rapid improvement in the foreseeable future, we have no option other than to face the realities of the situation and reduce production to a level consistent with present demand.
"It is therefore with the utmost regret that we are forced to immediately release 18 employees above retirement age, with a further 34 being made redundant later in the month".
Meetings were held yesterday between the management, the National Union of Footwear, Leather and Allied Trades (NUFLAT) and the Employment Service Agency. Mr R W Bazeley, president of the union's Rushden branch said; "It is a great shock, I am sorry it has happened", but there is no reason why other factories should follow suit. Asked whether certain workers had been singled out Mr Bazeley said: "No doubt there will be some people at DB Shoes who will say 'Why me and not him?'." He wasn't prepared to say what points the union made at yesterday's meeting but said the firm said it would reconsider its action. Twenty-three men and 29 women were dismissed and not all of them were members of NUFLAT.
Mr G A Crawford managing director of the Wellingborough and Rushden branch of the Employment Service Agency said: "I am confident that the people who are not over retirement age will find employment. There are still jobs in the industry locally".