Bosses of failed Keighley firm branded ‘cruel’ by worker left without cash

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Former Fuzzwire worker Andrew Parker Former Fuzzwire worker Andrew Parker

Bosses at the failed Fuzzwire firm in Keighley have been branded “cruel and heartless” by a worker who faces a bleak Christmas without money.

Single dad Andrew Parker says redundant staff have been left without wages, information – even P45s.

“That’s no way to treat people, especially at Christmas,” said Andrew, 50.

Administrators have warned it could be up to two months before former employees receive any cash – even though workers have missed out on the December payday.

“Fuzzwire have been cruel, unfair and lacking in compassion," said Andrew, who lives in Keighley. “I have nothing in my pocket but we will still try to enjoy Christmas. There just won’t be presents under the tree.”

Christmas decorations firm Fuzzwire officially went into administration on Friday. FRP Advisory have appointed joint administrators Andrew Sheridan and Leeds-based Phil Pierce. They expressed “huge sympathy” for people who had lost their jobs.

Andrew said he has been “in limbo” since December 6 after workers were told the previous day that jobs would have to go. “They promised to keep us informed but that never happened,” he said. “I have had no wages, no P45, no contact.

“I have no money. What do you do? Go to a food bank? You are like a ghost.”

He joined the firm in March 2011, making Christmas decorations for big stores having previously worked for the Post Office and on a farm.

“I thought it would be a long-term job but we have been mismanaged," he said. “I have known this has been coming since the start of the year. They tried to do too much, too quickly. After the Prudoe factory was closed, Keighley couldn’t fuflil the obligations.”

Andrew has brought up his son, Lewis, from an early age. Before joining Fuzzwire, he had given up work to care for Lewis who was ill. “I then cared for my mother, who died in my arms,” he said. Putting a brave face on his situation he said: “I have nothing in my pocket. but we will still enjoy Christmas. And we can celebrate properly next year when I get another job. I have spent all year making Christmas for other people and now mine is being taken away.”

Andrew hopes the administrators will be able to help sort out issues such as P45s and that there might be jobs with MK Illuminations who have taken on Fuzzwire’s shopping mall contracts.

Mr Sheridan said: “We have huge sympathy for the former employees who have not been paid in December.

“We have a duty to all creditors and our immediate focus is to assist the former employees in processing their claims. It will take about six to eight weeks before former employees receive any of their entitlements.”

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