450 jobs at risk as luxury yacht maker enters administration

Posted on 3 Dec 2015 by Callum Bentley

Luxury yacht maker, Fairline Boats has gone into administration, putting about 450 jobs at risk.

The news comes after it was acquired by private equity firm Wessex Bristol only two months ago, when 185 people were told they would no longer have jobs.

Geoff Rowley and Alastair Massey of the restructuring firm FRP Advisory were appointed joint administrators to Fairline on Wednesday. They said they anticipated that there would be redundancies, but could not say how many.

According to Unite the Union, the company has also not paid its pension contributions in three months.

Unite regional officer Mick Orpin said: “The future at Fairline is cloaked in management silence and evasion. This devil-take the hindmost attitude is heralding a bleak Christmas for our members.

“The workers, who have been laid off, have been abandoned – many have not been paid for ten weeks. They have now fallen behind with mortgage and rent payments and are looking at a grim Christmas.

“The laid-off workers are now being forced to resign to claim redundancy payments, which the company has no intention of paying.

“This means a claim will now have to be made through the national insurance fund and it will take months for our members to receive any payment.

“We need to emphasise that there is no support coming from the company for those displaced workers – basically, the management is behaving like Pontius Pilate and washing its hands of a long-standing dedicated workforce.

“And to add insult to injury, we have just found out that company has not been paying members pension contributions, even though it has deducted from their wages.

“Questions certainly need to be asked as to why the current legislation can allow an employer to act in such a draconian way and treat its workforce in such a diabolical manner. These workers are loyal employees and don’t deserve this kind of treatment.

“To compound the situation, the local MP Tom Pursglove, who has raised the company’s situation in the House of Commons, has been trying to meet with the company for the last six weeks, but the management has just snubbed his requests.

“We understand that there is very limited production, but we believe there are orders in the pipeline. Last week, we believe a handful of workers have been asked to return to work.”

Fairline Boats started production in 1963 and currently builds motor yachts at its original Oundle base, as well as in Corby.