FORMER staff are furious after being laid off by a new supermarket just weeks after it opened.

A total of 15 workers were told they were being let go from the Tesco store on Portland.

Some said they had turned down other jobs for the chance to work on the island.

Alan Vincent, from Pound Piece on Portland, said that it wasn’t fair for the island’s new superstore to take on staff only to let them go so quickly.

His son Darren was one of the 15 workers who were let go.

The company had 170 staff working in the store when it opened and after the 15 temporary staff left they now have 155.

Although the staff were on temporary contracts they claim they had been led to believe the work would be long term.

A spokesman for the store said that a lot of staff were taken on for a 12-week contact and that the employment had been temporary.

The store opened seven weeks ago but staff had been working behind the scenes in preparation for the opening for weeks beforehand.

Alan Vincent said that his son and other workers worked hard and did nothing wrong.

He said: “They did extra hours. It was a surprise. It’s appalling. Darren and others turned down other jobs hoping that the job with Tesco would go on.

“If someone’s done something wrong then okay, but they have worked hard.”

He added: “Darren works very hard. You can’t ask more than him doing full time college and work at the same time.

“I would like to find out why Tesco have let people go. If they have good employees they should hang on to them.

“Lots of shops have temporary staff but Tesco led them to believe the work was going to continue.”

Darren, 17, said that a few people had gone including his friends.

He said: “I feel they used the Portland people to get the store open and hired staff and then got rid of them.

“I was at the end of my contract but they said that I could be continuing because they had started till training me and then they let me go.

“It was a good job for me because it was close to home.”

Portland resident James Timbrell, 18, was also let go by the store. He said he felt let down by the company.

He said: “I was given a contract for 12 weeks but was given the impression that because their taking was good in the shop they would be keeping on part-time contracts – it came as a bit of a surprise. I’m a bit let down by them.”

He added that he had only taken two days off because he was so ill he could not ride his motorbike to work but said that he had done extra work, including night shifts for the company when asked.

He said: “When they told me they wouldn’t be renewing my contract I asked them how long they had known about it and they told me they had known since last week. Why didn’t they tell me? I could’ve looked for another job.”

“I had no idea this would happen.”

A spokesman for Tesco said that the contracts had been temporary.

He said: “The store will have part-time, full-time staff and temporary staff which are, by their very nature, temporary.”

He added: “There’s no way they would have been told they were definitely staying.”