Unite the Union

Unite the Union

January 16, 2008 10:18 ET

Spooner Vicars Goes Into Administration

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - Jan. 16, 2008) - Unite the Union, Britain's biggest private sector union, has vowed to do everything possible to help the employees of the historic Spooner Vicars of Newton-le-Willows which has gone into administration.

The company, known locally as Vicars, was established in 1849 and has been located at its current site since 1885. It manufactured equipment for the biscuit & bread bakery industry and was a world renowned supplier of high quality equipment.

The administrators, Tenon Recovery, arrived at the site last Friday and following meetings, 40 of the 100 strong workforce were made redundant with immediate effect, the remainder of the workforce will be made redundant over the next few weeks and the company will close.

Unite Regional Officer, Harry Howard, says:

"We believe, the way the owners of this company treated its loyal workforce is outrageous. Over the last 3 years, the workforce has accepted wage cuts and agreed to work extra hours without overtime pay, all with the promise of better times to come.

40 of the 100 employees were dismissed at a minutes notice, with a month's salary unpaid and no prospect of ongoing employment for the remaining 60 employees. To be abandoned in this way is diabolical.

Together with the GMB, we will be doing everything possible to ensure that employees and ex employees receive their full entitlements. If there has been any unlawful action the appropriate action will be taken.

The managing director Mr Poteet left the premises before the administration order was signed, he didn't address the workforce before leaving and he has since left the country for his home in USA."

The company was bought in June 2007 by Stewart Systems Inc. of Plano Texas in the USA from the previous owner Wayne Poteet who bought the company in 2005 with his former partner Bruce Stimpson. Mr Poteet remained managing director of the company.

Payday for the workers was due yesterday (Tuesday 15th January) and they have been told that they will not be paid.

The workforce knew nothing of the administration order until the administrators arrived there on Friday morning. It is understood that there was no attempt at a rescue plan for the company and St Helens council & St Helens Chamber are said to have been unaware of problems at the site.

Contact Information

  • Ciaran Naidoo
    07768 931 315