Workers face redundancy at Newport building firm
Updated 12:46pm Friday 18th April 2014 in News
WORKERS at a Newport construction firm are facing redundancy after the directors admitted they could not save the business.
Workers have been told that construction firm Green Hill, a privately owned Limited Company based in Esperanto Way Newport, cannot pay their wages and may have to go into administration. The company was set up in 2006 to provide services to registered social landlords across South Wales.
A worker, who wishes to remain anonymous, said: “We got called for a meeting on Friday [April 11] morning and they said the company is going into administration and we had all been made redundant.”
In a letter from Green Hill director, Darran Watts, dated April 11, workers were informed the company was no longer in a position to make payments for their services.
It goes on to say: “I should take steps to place the company into administration.”
The letter advised workers to claim any outstanding payments from the Redundancy Payment Service.
On Monday morning, gates to the Newport office were locked up and shutters were down.
Greg Anthony, 24, who worked as a carpenter at Green Hill, said: “I'm just gutted to be honest and not happy that they didn't even give us notice to say they were in trouble.”
Many of those working for the firm were completing apprenticeships alongside their studies at Coleg Gwent, like 18-year-old Joe Ireland. He said: “We all felt bad that we lost our jobs but the worst thing was that there was no notice what so ever and just their attitude towards it.”
Mr Ireland has since managed to find a new job to enable him to continue his apprenticeship.
A spokesman from UCATT, Union of Construction, Allied Trades and Technicians, said: “We are very concerned and are carrying out our own investigation into the state of affairs.”
Regional Secretary, Nick Blundell, said the company had made no consultation with the union. He said: “Sometimes people who run these companies don’t take their social responsibility seriously.”
Assembly member for Newport East, John Griffiths, said: “It’s very disappointing news. It’s very worrying at a time when construction seems to be picking up a little.
“It’s really important that we have got help available for people. It’s important the agencies pull together and provide the right service and possibly training.”
The Welsh Government previously invested £146,650 in the company through the Welsh Government’s Economic Growth Fund, which created 15 new jobs and brought the total staff to 145 as of January last year.
Previous multi-million pound contracts included 32 units on Turner Street, Newport for the Seren Group which were completed last year and the Melin Homes development on the former Brookfield Primary School site in Cwmbran.
On April 10, the day before workers were made redundant, a planning application from Green Hill was registered with Newport Council for the development of 248 houses on the land south of Glan Usk Primary School, off Herbert Road, Newport.
Director of Green Hill Construction Darran Watts said: “Green Hill Construction Ltd have filed a notice of intention to appoint an administrator - however the appointment has not yet been made.
“Given the aforementioned position and the fact that various discussions are currently ongoing regarding the future of the business it would be inappropriate for us to provide any comment at this stage.”
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