BOSSES who axed nearly 50 jobs from a troubled textile mill were dubbed "Dickensian" by workers.
Bartfields, administrators at Globe Worsted in Slaithwaite, called a meeting of all 140 staff yesterday morning and read out the names of 47 employees to be sacked now.
The rest of the staff - many of whom have worked there for more than 20 years - will face the sack when they return to work in early January.
One employee said: "People couldn't believe they were doing this. There were gasps. They could have handed out letters. Anything instead of just reading names out.
"They called us all in and it was like a scene from a Dickens story."
Staff said they had been keeping their fingers crossed for a bidder to save the company, which went into administration in August.
The employee added: "It's bad enough for people losing their job at any time of year - but two days before Christmas?"
Staff who avoided this round of job losses were sent back to work as sacked colleagues were handed Jobcentre forms and told how they could claim redundancy payments.
The employee said: "These payments from the Government can take months to come through. What are people supposed to do in the meantime.
"Staff who are still working there are in a no-win situation. They can't leave because they will lose their redundancy - but know they will end up jobless."
The Transport and General Workers' Union attacked the sackings.
Tony Barrow, a union representative, said: "It's devastating - for the employees and their families, and also for the Colne Valley.
"We have had firms closing and people losing their jobs.
"You are supposed to be able to look forward to the new year.
"All these people can see is the loss of their jobs."