Jobs at risk at city engineering firm

From left President managing director Mark Henley, operations director John Waddington and financial director - now plant manager - Marie Cooper
From left President managing director Mark Henley, operations director John Waddington and financial director - now plant manager - Marie Cooper
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A Sheffield engineering company is set to make its first redundancies in 11 years after a downturn in the oil and gas and mining sectors.

Parker, of President Way, has sent letters to 15 mainly office staff warning that nine positions are at risk. Consultation will take place over the next fortnight.

It comes after 10 mainly shopfloor workers took a retirement package before Christmas.

The firm was President Engineering Group before it was bought by US conglomerate Parker Hannifin in September.

A Queen’s Award winner, it manufactures coal quality testing products, dust and fire suppression systems for underground mining and valves for the liquefied natural gas industry.

Plant manager Marie Cooper said the last week had been the worst of her career. But she moved to quash rumours the proposed cuts were a result of the firm’s new ownership.

“I’m absolutely gutted, it’s due to market conditions, there’s been a downturn in the energy industries - oil and gas but predominantly mining - and our cost base is too high.

“People want to blame Parker but it’s down to market conditions. They are working with us and have been supportive.

“We have done everything we possibly can to maintain the business but it’s got to the stage where we have to take action.”

Turnover at the 106-strong company has fallen from £17m to £14m in the last year she added.

She added: “We would have done things differently if we were still President, when we were smaller and more agile. But we are not alone, this is affecting the whole of the Parker Hannifin group.

“I’m hoping this will be enough but there are no guarantees, we don’t know what the future holds.”

Marie was one of three directors who helped the firm grow, acquire companies and win awards.

n Forgemasters is set to make 75 people redundant while Falco Engineering, of Ecclesfield, went out of business in December due to a downturn in the mining industry with the loss of 15 jobs.