Union calls for probe into Havelock collapse

GMB Scotland organiser Allison Cairns
GMB Scotland organiser Allison Cairns

Calls are being made for a parliamentary inquiry by MPs into the collapse of Kirkcaldy firm Havelock.

It comes amid reports that the board of the Mitchelston Industrial Estate firm were considering regularly when to put the business into administration, whilst keeping their 247 workers in the dark.

Union GMB Scotland says workers need answers as to why an apparently healthy company suddenly went into administration.

Allison Cairns, GMB Scotland Organiser, said: “Havelock benefitted from £30 million at the expense of the public purse when loans to the previous owners were written off last year.

“In return, the new owners of the business appear to have collapsed the company in the most damaging way possible for the workforce.

“The law as it stands says that companies must inform and consult workers when redundancies are a real risk.

“How did it happen that a company with an apparently healthy order book was allowed to carry on to a point where there was no money left for wages or to honour voluntary severance packages?”

“GMB Scotland is pursuing claims for our members through the UK Government’s compensation scheme but ultimately that is a cost that will have to be borne by taxpayers.

“Havelock management, the owners, Rcapital, and the administrators, PWC, all have questions to answer over Havelock’s collapse.

“MPs should be putting these questions and they should be considering whether or not the Havelock scandal makes the case for a change in the law allowing owners to be pursued for the cost of their actions, or negligence.”

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