Anger as woollens chain blocks royal holiday

A TRADE union has criticised Langholm-based Edinburgh Woollen Mill for its “mean” approach to staff holidays for the Queen’s diamond jubilee.

The GMB says the company has told its 5,000 workers across the UK – including the 700 at the Langholm HQ and the Kingmoor Park distribution centre – that they will not be able to take an extra paid day’s leave on June 5.

The union also claimed managers told staff they would have to use their existing entitlement to have that day off, while those working would receive no extra pay.

No comment was available from the company before TheSouthern went to press yesterday afternoon..

The UK government has announced that the late May Bank Holiday will be moved to Monday, June 4, and an extra bank holiday will be added on Tuesday, June 5, offering the chance of a four-day break.

GMB general secretary Paul Kenny commented: “This is a mean act towards hard- working and loyal staff particularly since they [Edinburgh Woollen Mill] will be opening their shops to take advantage of the fact that everybody else will be enjoying an additional holiday that day.”