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Victoria Carpets boardroom rivals hit back in jobs row
TWO men seeking re-election to the board of Kidderminster’s Victoria Carpets say their strategy would secure jobs, not slash them.
Alexander Anton and Geoff Wilding denied claims by Victoria bosses they would “break up” and “destroy” the company and said workers should not fear for their jobs.
An emergency meeting on Wednesday, October 3, will see shareholders vote to decide a second boardroom battle this year.
Mr Anton and Mr Wilding said they would make the company’s UK operations “more profitable”.
Group managing director Alan Bullock, however, claimed parts of the company, which could include Kidderminster, would be sold off under the pair’s remuneration plans.
Mr Anton said: “We want to put to bed this idea we are going to slash everything and want workers to realise it’s not all doom and gloom.
“We don’t want workers to wait for the axe to fall. We want them to feel comfortable about change.”
Worcester Road-based employees, who signed a petition urging shareholder Stewart Anton to vote for the current board, told The Shuttle there was a “genuine worry among workers”.
Mr Wilding said: “The best way to secure jobs is to have a profitable company. We have a plan to grow it and make it profitable.
“There will be no unnecessary redundancies. There will be some restructuring overall but we are not shrinking the company.”
Mr Wilding said the incentive scheme proposed earlier this year which led to him and Alexander Anton resigning from the board, would not be reintroduced. He said any new remuneration plan would go to a shareholder vote.
Alexander Anton added: “[The current management] should settle this away from the drama because they are whipping up opinion which is damaging.”
Mr Bullock said: “If they are not telling people their plan how can shareholders make an informed decision? Their refusal to do that speaks volumes. We question how they think they will make the business more profitable.
“It doesn’t sound like they are guaranteeing jobs and they are not committed to the company long term.”