MORE than 50 former workers at a Newport carpet factory are seeking compensation from their employers, alleging they were unfairly dismissed from their jobs.

New Venture Carpets made most of its staff redundant in June this year - keeping a skeleton staff of around 15 to run the plant until its closure at the end of the year.

But staff representatives say they are unhappy with the manner in which the process was handled, and now the Newport Citizens' Advice Bureau is conducting legal action for the redundant ex-workers.

Applications on behalf of 52 former employees have been filed at Cardiff Employment Tribunal, claiming unfair dismissal.

Neil Robins, an employment caseworker at Newport CAB, said: "Employment legislation states that employers have a duty to consult when large- scale redundancies are proposed.

"Employers also have a duty to apply for a fair-selection criteria when selecting those employees who are going to be made redundant. "If the correct procedures have not been followed, then former employees may have a valid claim.

"Ultimately the decision lies with the employment tribunal, but we will be happy to present claims for anyone who contacts us before August 29." Paul Lawrence, a director at New Venture Carpets, said he was not aware of the proceedings being taken by the former employees. "As far as we are aware all of the employees were treated fairly," he added.

But Steve Meredith, of Buttermere Way, Newport, who was one of the men to lose his livelihood, said: "We felt the way in which the consultation period was conducted and the workers at New Venture Carpets were treated was very unfair."

Craig Lane, operations manager at Newport CAB, said: "We have seen a number of large-scale redundancies in Newport and its surrounding area over the last couple of years, and are committed to ensuring that employees in that situation are treated fairly."

The deadline for making claims to the employment tribunal is three months from the date of dismissal, and Newport CAB are asking anyone who has not yet made a claim to call 01633 212680.