FLINTSHIRE workers were stunned to receive letter from their employer telling them workers' wages will be slashed by 40 per cent to protect the businesses from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

In a letter to staff at Kingspan's Greenfield plant, as well as those in Ireland and other countries, Gene Murtagh, Kingspan chief executive, said staff must take a 40 per cent reduction “for the two full months of April and May”.

The pay of the company's top managers will be halved.

Mr Murtagh told staff we were in "extraordinary times" and action that just weeks ago seemed unthinkable was now "absolutely essential".

He adds that is is not known whether two months will be sufficient but that the action is "absolutely critical to protect as many jobs as possible".

Kingspan Group is a building materials company based in Ireland that trades in more than 70 countries.

It has more than 100 factories, including one on Greenfield business park, employing in the region of 14,500 people.

Unite was given no advance notice of the decision and the union has condemned the decision as completely unacceptable.

Daryl Williams Unite Regional Officer, said: "For Kingspan to take such draconian action is huge kick in the teeth for their skilled and loyal workforce. Employers should be working closely with Trade Unions, not making arbitrary decision at this time of national emergency.

"Details are still emerging but I am seeking urgent legal advice on behalf of our members. I am also working with my Unite counter parts across the other UK sites in order to coordinate our response.

"We are pressing the company for an urgent meeting on Monday at the Greenfield site.”