50 laid off from Phil’s Food Services
Phil’s Food Services Ltd. has laid off 50 part-and full-time workers after paying out more than$3 million in salaries and$800,000 in overtime during its first year in operation.
The cuts are seen as essential for future expansion plans, according to the owner. The staffing expenses were more than half of what the company had provisioned for when the business opened its doors in December 2009.
“The last thing I wanted to do was to terminate anyone but in order for me to stay in business I had to cut salaries,”owner Phil Lightbourne toldGuardian Business.”It’s a tough business decision for a company but we want to get to the next level.
“We had overstaffed ourselves.”
He is hoping that the cuts will reduce expenses by 30 percent, which will go towards expansion plans at the location this year.
The terminations of approximately one-third of its staff were carried out last week Thursday, with every department subject to some trimming, said Lightbourne. While there are now 110 workers at the company, he said there may be around 10 more staff members let go before the company is running at an optimum level.
“The first year was to evaluate the operation,”he added.”We are overstaffed in the butcher room, in the produce area, in the deli and on the floor.
“We picked out the best and kept them on, so what I have here now is
a group of guys that can function in any area.”
Lightbourne said the dismissed employees all got payouts totaling what the law allowed.
Guardian Businessreceived calls last week from workers, upset that they had been laid off just before the new year came in.
“They told us there were 20 more people to get laid off,”said one terminated employee.”We came to work as regular, but they told us we could not enter the building and told us to come back around 1 p.m.
“They said our services were no longer needed. They didn’t say anything about the downturn or nothing… and most of us didn’t get nothing much because we were only working there a couple months.”