Stricken Alcan Workers Must Seek Urgent Advice

07 March 2012

A northern advice service has urged the hundreds of North East Alcan workers left facing redundancy to seek advice as soon as possible.

It was revealed in March that rescue bids to keep Lynemouth's Rio Tinto Alcan aluminium smelter operational had failed and that it would close, with 323 workers given 12 weeks' redundancy notice and a further 192 workers facing likely redundancy in the long-term.

Liz Chadwick, chief executive of DAWN Advice, which manages the DAWN Citizens Advice Bureau in Morpeth and the Northumberland Single Telephone Advice Line, said workers needed to consider seeking advice as soon as possible.

She said free support for those being made redundant is out there and that workers should not wait until their last day at work to start looking for help and preparing for the future.

She added: "It can be difficult to find any silver lining on what is such a devastating blow for Lynemouth, Northumberland and the North East as a whole. Alcan is Northumberland's biggest private employer so the numbers of redundancies being talked about cannot easily be re-absorbed into the economy and there is no doubt this will be acutely felt throughout the region.

"However, help is available and I strongly urge people to seek advice now rather than leave it until later on. The jobs market is competitive and individuals must take it upon themselves to ensure they are equipped as well as possible to find alternative employment.

"Likewise, if they are concerned about money and paying the bills, then they can seek impartial, free advice from the Northumberland telephone advice line or in person at Morpeth's Citizens Advice Bureau."

Anyone affected by the closure of Rio Tinto Alcan's aluminium smelter at Lynemouth should visit the DAWN CAB in Morpeth for free and impartial face-to-face advice, or alternatively they can contact the Northumberland Single Telephone Advice Line on 0844 4111 309 for advice over the telephone.

DAWN Advice is a Northumberland-based social enterprise which offers free, confidential and impartial legal advice on a range of issues including debt, housing, employment, welfare benefits and family law. It is a member of the Citizens Advice service and manages the operation of the DAWN CAB in Morpeth.