Time Computers culls 130 workers

Not making as many PCs

Time Computers cut back around 130 jobs from its head office this week, according to the remaining staff.

The company admits it was caught out by the first time computer market dropping off 12 months earleir than it had expected.

Workers have gone from almost all departments except sales, and the figure includes at least 20 job losses from each of the warehousing, manufacturing, and returns/repairs sections.

The jobs losses are across Time and its manufacturing business VMT.

Time, a privately owned business, has been reluctant to admit any lay-offs. But Time boss Tahir Mohsan has conceded just 30/40 job cut backs in logistics/warehousing and administration. He said the job losses followed on from closing down its Time Talk mobile phone chain. The company has closed 40-50 shops this year.

It is estimated that Time now has 100 workers left in its manufacturing section, and 60/70 in support. Around 440 worked in manufacturing just before December 2000.

The difference in the figures quoted by Mohsan and Time staff could be explained by Time's practice of employing a lot of temporary workers on week by week basis. Not renewing a temporary contract is not considered to be a lay-off.

Mohsan said: "We hire temporary people on a week by week basis. Sixty per cent of work force is not directly employed by us." He said this is common practice in all manufacturing companies, and the company didn't announce when it was taking temps on, nor when it didn't rehire them.

But one long serving Time employee said: "All the temps have gone - we're into core staff now."

He is very worried for his own and Time's future and said the mood of workers at Time's head office near Burnley was very bad. "You get very nervous, you're getting rid of experience. If you get through to Friday lunchtime, you know you've got a job for the next week. You get no redundancy - you get a weeks money and you're on your way."

Time's manufacturing plant is enormous; it was bought off Philips which used to make TVs there. The manufacturing side was set up to handle 20 production lines each capable of building 250 PCs a day. Two lines are currently working, building 300-400 machines a day.

The 130 staff are not all expected to leave immediately. Notice will be worked depending on their contracts.

Tahir Mohsan and his family were valued at £50 million in the Sunday times Rich List. They'd been up at £175 million in last year's list. ®

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