'Workers treated with contempt' - Union blasts Sheffield firm bosses after 109 workers are laid off

A Sheffield firm has 'treated the workforce with contempt' over dozens of redundancies, say union chiefs.

Thursday, 1st March 2018, 12:48 pm
Updated Thursday, 1st March 2018, 3:20 pm
Unite has blasted bosses at Sheffield firm DavyMarkham

DavyMarkham in Darnall went into administration at the expense of 109 jobs labelled 'a tragedy for UK engineering'.

Trade union Unite, who represent the majority of the workforce, said company bosses had acted ‘appallingly’ and had now ‘walked off into the sunset’ with the parent company Hughes Armstrong Industries.

DavyMarkham in Darnall

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Unite blasted the firm and said it was another example of 'irresponsible industrial management' with 'dedicated workers paying with their jobs and the taxpayer picking up the tab'.

The union say the firm handed out redundancies and called in administrators 'without consultation' and management have got away 'scot free'.

The Star understands staff wages haven't been paid and Unite claim the company have 'not honoured pension contributions' and even 'deducted the workers own pension contributions and failed to pay them on to the pension fund'.

Unite regional officer Harriet Eisner said: “The workforce has been treated appallingly and with contempt during this whole process, while the directors appear to have walked off into the sunset with owner Hughes Armstrong Industries.

DavyMarkham in Darnall

“More than 100 skilled workers are now unemployed in Sheffield and are having to apply to the government for their statutory rights.

“Yet again, a company has been run into the ground, but the management and directors get to walk away scot free. This is an all too familiar tale in modern Britain.

“Our members will have to rely on the taxpayer to get them their minimum redundancy payout and will have to take the company to court for failing to consult with them over the redundancies.

“This is a tragedy for UK engineering and manufacturing generally, and, in particular, for Sheffield with its proud engineering tradition.

“Unite will be guiding our members through the process of claiming their redundancy payments, outstanding wages and pension contributions. We will also be seeking a protective award from the courts for lack of consultation over the redundancies.”

The heavy engineering specialists can trace its name back to 1830 and told The Star last Friday they were facing 'financial challenges'.

The firm has worked on projects such as the Channel Tunnel, Gateshead Millennium Bridge and Wembley Stadium.

Yasmin Bhikha, director at specialist business advisory firm FRP Advisory LLP and joint administrator of Davy Markham Limited, said: “Unfortunately the company’s financial position resulted in it entering into administration earlier this week, resulting in 109 employees being made redundant.

"We are working with directors to evaluate any option to sell all or parts of the business. As a part of this effort, the directors remain with the Company as part of a team of 31 members of staff, to allow us to continue to trade a reduced operation while we seek to find a buyer."