Dozens of jobs gone at Cam­den and an­other 80 threat­ened

Up to 50 losses af­ter ma­jor cus­tomer of firm goes bust

Belfast Telegraph - Business Telegraph - - Front Page - BY RYAN MCALEER

UP to 50 jobs have al­ready gone at Co Antrim win­dow and door frame man­u­fac­turer the Cam­den Group as it con­sults over the loss of an­other 80 roles, it has emerged.

The com­pany this month an­nounced a 30-day con­sul­ta­tion process that placed 80 peo­ple at risk of re­dun­dancy in the wake of one of its big­gest cus­tomers en­ter­ing ad­min­is­tra­tion.

But large num­bers of other jobs have al­ready gone, Busi­ness Tele­graph un­der­stands.

Brad­ford-based Nia­mac De­vel­op­ments, which trades as Safeglaze UK, was placed in ad­min­is­tra­tion on Oc­to­ber 30. All 132 em­ploy­ees at its eight sites in Bri­tain have been made re­dun­dant.

A source at the Cam­den Group de­scribed Safeglaze as one of the com­pany’s big­gest cus­tomers. The Brad­ford firm is un­der­stood to owe its cred­i­tors around £11m, with Cam­den one of the big­gest cred­i­tors.

In a leaked memo to staff last month, the frame man­u­fac­turer re­ferred to “a sud­den and un­ex­pected” re­duc­tion in or­ders from Safeglaze.

But while the for­mal con­sul­ta­tion will run for an­other two weeks, a source at the com­pany told Busi­ness Tele­graph that around 50 peo­ple have al­ready lost their jobs, most in the pro­duc­tion end of the busi­ness. The firm de­clined to com­ment.

Ac­cord­ing to its lat­est ac­counts, it em­ploys around 580 peo­ple, with 80% in pro­duc­tion. De­spite a pre-tax loss of £1.2m in 2016, the com­pany ex­pe­ri­enced a £5m up­surge in turnover last year to £43.9m, help­ing it re­turn to profit.

Trade union Unite has urged non-mem­bers at the Cam­den Group to join, which they said would “en­sure their rights are are be­ing pro­tected”.

Re­gional of­fi­cer Ge­orge Brash (right), who has vis­ited the fac- tory, said: “Work­ers in the group are be­ing of­fered the bare le­gal min­i­mum statu­tory re­dun­dancy pay­ments by man­age­ment and pay is low.

“The best way for work­ers to de­fend them­selves is through join­ing a fight­back union like Unite.

“Un­for­tu­nately Unite does not hold for­mal union recog­ni­tion at the com­pany and so our abil­ity to robustly de­fend work­ers’ in­ter­ests is cur­tailed; how­ever, we are will­ing to en­gage with man­age­ment to en­sure that the num­ber of com­pul­sory re­dun­dan­cies re­quired is min­imised through re­lo­ca­tion to al­ter­na­tive sites within the group.”

John Smith, the DUP deputy mayor of Antrim and New­town­abbey Bor­ough Coun­cil, said the job losses were an­other set­back for man­u­fac­tur­ing: “It’s ter­ri­ble, it doesn’t help the lo­cal econ­omy at all. It’s just sad, es­pe­cially at the mouth of Christ­mas. It’s an­other dis­as­ter for man­u­fac­tur­ing.”

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