FORTY workers at a plastic-bag factory are facing the dole queue, with bosses blaming the new 5p supermarket charge.
All the staff at Nelson Packaging in the Lancashire town have been laid off and many fear they will be unable to find work.
The firm’s managing director Michael Flynn told the BBC yesterday that the company’s decline was mainly due to “the English bag legislation and corresponding impact on customer and retailer demand.”
He also blamed “aggressive overseas competition” but praised the “loyal workforce.”
Union rep Robert Copeland said the firm had summoned workers to a meeting last Wednesday and told them to stop working immediately.
“It’s daunting as I have no interview skills,” he said. “I’m 49 years old and I’ve got to now go into a new working environment and start again. It is scary.”
The 5p charge for bags was introduced in England last October following similar moves in Wales and Scotland.
The number of single-use carrier bags handed out by shops in Wales fell by 71 per cent since charges were introduced in 2011, a report said last year.