Ipex has distanced itself from reports by former employees that its directors have embarked on an ambitious plan to reduce the company's workforce by 25 per cent.
The accusations of a major corporate bloodletting come from retrenched staff and former Ipex employees after the company culled 10 staff last month. Five production staff went first, followed by five from sales, middle management and engineering on November 30. Of these, two of the staff were "let go" due to performance, the other three made redundant.
Bill Dennis, a spokesman for Ipex, said the allegation of a planned 25 per cent reduction in staff was "categorically untrue". He said Ipex is continuing to recruit staff "in order to service new projects and expand business opportunities".
One of Ipex's vendors in contact with ARN expressed concern about the staff cuts and whether they would affect Ipex's ability to support its product. However, Dennis claimed the people involved in the retrenchments had no bearing on Ipex's ability to support its vendors.
Ipex managing director Joel Schwalb visited the relevant branch offices in the lead-up to the retrenchments to personally explain the reasons to employees.
"Regrettably, the Ipex employees who were made redundant were dedicated people and I would not send them a dear John letter'. I felt that I owed it to them to explain the situation personally," said Schwalb.
It is understood that Ipex has been invited to tender for the lucrative Centrelink outsourcing contract. Denying the allegation that Ipex will reduce its 600-strong workforce to 450, a company spokesperson said that any concerns this would affect its chances of winning the Centrelink contract would be "misplaced and erroneous".