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Hopes are dashed of saving any jobs at Keighley firm
8:00am Saturday 4th January 2014 in News
Any hopes of saving jobs at a festive decorations firm in Keighley which fell into administration shortly before Christmas look to have been dashed.
A total of 187 jobs were lost when Fuzzwire shut down.
And a union boss yesterday described the firm as “the Marie Celeste of the factory world”.
Steve Davison, president of the TUC in the Keighley area, said it was as if Fuzzwire had “never existed”.
Fuzzwire made Christmas decorations for shopping malls. Bristol-based administrators FRP Advisory announced that Austrian-owned MK Illuminations had bought the doomed firm’s contracts, bringing hopes that jobs might be created.
But Mr Davison, president of the TUC locally, said: “There has not been a squeak about what is happening.
“We offered help to those who lost their jobs but no-one has approached us. I am still trying to work out what to do for the best.
“It is a mystery. No-one seems to know anything. It is as if it is a virtual workplace. The premises are still locked up and deserted. It’s like the Marie Celeste of the factory world. As though it never existed.”
Visiting the premises shortly before Christmas, FRP’s Andrew Sheridan said dealing with redundancy claims was the “immediate focus”. But he warned it could take up to eight weeks before anyone received any entitlements. He said yesterday that there was “nothing new to report”.
Meanwhile, single dad Andrew Parker, of Keighley, who lost his job at the firm, has branded the town’s MP’s pledge of support for the workers who lost their jobs as “political bravado”.
As the news of the situation spread, Keighley Conservative MP Kris Hopkins said he would contact relevant Government departments as a matter or urgency to see what could be done to help those made redundant.
But this week Mr Parker said: “The MP said he would do all he could to help us, but I have not seen any sign of action. It looks like this was just political bravado.”
Mr Parker told the T&A just before Christmas that there would be “no presents under the tree” for him and his son.
He said: “My name was in the paper, the MP could have got in touch with me but he hasn’t. And there are many more people than me having problems.”
Mr Parker has not received money from any source since December 6, when Fuzzwire staff were told their jobs were going. “Without family and friends I would hardly have eaten,” he said. “My son and I had quite a good Christmas despite all the problems, but you can’t go on relying on other people.”
The 50-year-old now walks everywhere in search of work. “I have applied for jobs from toilet-cleaning to management,” he said. “I have to walk as I have no money for transport.”
Having only just received his P45, he has an appointment about benefits this Tuesday. “I have no money in my pocket, but something will crop up,” he said.
In the immediate aftermath of the closure, Mr Hopkins said: “People losing their jobs at any time is bad news. But for this to happen at Christmas is terrible.”
He was not available yesterday to comment on Mr Parker’s remarks.
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