ABOUT 200 people have lost their jobs at a Bolton kitchen and bathroom firm – and have been told they will not get paid before Christmas.

More than 140 Mark Two Home Limited employees were handed a letter during a staff meeting on Monday telling them they no longer had jobs, and would not receive their November wage.

It is understood the remainder — a mix of field staff or self-employed contractors — were either told over the phone, or heard the news first through social media.

The redundancies come after Tesco terminated its contract with Mark Two last week, when the supermarket decided to close Tesco Kitchens and Tesco Bathrooms businesses.

Staff had been warned two weeks ago that the contract looked set to end, and say they were asked to continue working under assurances they would get paid.

Mark Two say they are working with professional advisers about “the release of monies owed to laid off staff.”

On Monday each worker was given a RP1 form, as part of a service provided by the government to claim owed money when their employer is insolvent.

Yesterday the company was still listed as ‘active’ on national database Companies House, and there are still members of staff at the Raikes Lane Industrial Estate base working for the company.

Angry former staff met outside the business off Manchester Road on Tuesday to voice their frustration.

Bradley Fold mum Emma Woodhouse said Christmas was cancelled in her house after she found out she had lost her job.

She said: “I was told on the Friday we would be getting paid, that they had every intention to pay us.

“I have a nine-month-old son Sonny and now we have no money for Christmas.

“My husband was made redundant in June and has only just started work again.

“It’s not a good situation. Thankfully I had already bought some presents

“All we want is what we are owed.”

Donna Entwhistle worked for Mark Two for three years and said she was angry about the way the news was handled.

The 50-year-old from Breighmet said: “I’ve had to tell my five grandchildren that Father Christmas won’t be as generous this year.

“If we have had a 45-day consultation I would have got some money, but this way we won’t.”

Toni Thomason, aged 28, said the future was now uncertain after she lost her job.

“I don’t know how I’m going to pay my rent – thankfully I have family who can help,” the Morris Green resident said.

“It’s just upsetting. We were told two weeks ago that there was a chance we might not get paid, but could we come in and keeping working.

“The way we have been treated is disgusting, especially with Christmas around the corner.”

Nick Cook, aged 31, only started working for Mark Two two months ago.

The Wigan resident said: ““They had us working, contacting Tesco customers.”

Hundreds of Tesco customers have also been affected by the contract collapse, with many not receiving the kitchens and bathrooms they have purchased.

A spokesman for Ultra Finishing, which owns Mark Two, blamed Tesco for not speaking with the business, and said bosses at the company had ‘pleaded’ with the store to come to the table to find a way of winding down the contract.

The two companies have had an agreement since 2008, and Tesco had suggested to Mark Two last year it would stop the contract – but only pulled out formally on Tuesday.

The spokesman said: “The laying off of some 200 staff was an inevitable consequence of Tesco’s sudden termination of the contract.

“Tesco’s abrupt decision means that he Mark Two home business is no longer viable in its current form, and the Home selling division has ceased to trade with immediate effect.

“Mark Two directors remain in consultation with professional advisors to save the remainder of the business.

“Mark Two directors are working with professional advisors about the release of monies owed to laid-off staff.”

A spokesman for Tesco said the redundancies were a matter for Mark Two, and refused to comment on the matter.

The company has now accused Mark Two of not completing customer orders and hanging onto their money.

When asked about the allegations, Mark Two refused to provide a response.

As the company's business unravelled, the war of words continued.

The Tesco spokesman said: “We were very clear with Mark Two that we were prepared to support financially provided that such support would go directly to building kitchens for customers.

“In the last year, Mark Two have taken all payments from customers directly, and we have received none of this.

“We have engaged with Mark Two to seek a mutually satisfactory solution that would protect customers but have no confidence that Mark Two will be able to deliver installations, repay deposits or honour the warranties they have sold to customers.

“We’ve seen from social media and hundreds of customer calls that Mark Two is no longer fulfilling its obligations to install kitchens and bathrooms that have been paid for. It is also not releasing funds paid by customers.

“Furthermore, Mark Two continue to direct all customers directly to Tesco despite holding all of those customers' funds.

“We are fully committed to ensuring we do the right thing for customers and we’re in the process of speaking to all customers involved. Once again we’d like to assure these customers that they won’t lose a penny of what they’ve paid.”