105 jobs go as firms fail

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MORE than 100 jobs have been lost by the collapse of two South Yorkshire firms in the space of just a fortnight because of the recession.

Electrical and mechanical engineers LJ Monks, of Thorn Lane, Long Sandall, in Doncaster called in the administrators last week and 70 of its 88-strong workforce have been put out of work.

The future of the remaining 18 employees is also uncertain because they have been “placed on notice of redundancy”.

Another 35 workers employed by painting contractors J Ibbotson Ltd, based on Bentley Road, have also lost their jobs after it went into administration.

The situation at LJ Monks has left a sour taste in the mouths of some former staff who claim they are still owed unpaid money.

Keith Jaram, aged 57, of Highbury Avenue, Bessacarr, says he is owed around £1,500 in wages, overtime pay and expenses for working away from Doncaster.

Mr Jaram, who was a supervising engineer with 12 years’ service, said staff had been “treated like dirt”.

He went on: “It was all Chinese whispers how I found out I’d been let go. This whole situation stinks.

“There might only be 70 or 80 people on their books but I know hundreds of agency workers will be in the same boat.”

Managing director Warren Monks said: “We have had a situation where we cannot carry on trading. It has a lot to do with the recession.”

The firm has been affected by the recession in the construction sector and increased competition for the work that is available, said administrator Willie Duncan.

He said: “The administrators are assisting staff with claims for redundancy and arrears of pay from The Redundancy Payments Service.

“They are also dealing with the realisation of company assets including work in progress, contract debts and retentions.”

Mr Monks said most people had reacted “quite kindly” to the situation and all employees had been given details of the administrators.

Administrators Begbies Traynor are looking after the interests of Ibbotsons, whose commercial painting and decorating business has failed to recover from a severe fall off in business over the winter.