Hopes of ‘saving’ jobs at Keighley firm are dashed

Former Fuzzwire worker, Andrew Parker, who is still waiting for his wages after the firm went bust

Former Fuzzwire worker, Andrew Parker, who is still waiting for his wages after the firm went bust

First published in Keighley

Any hopes of saving jobs at a festive decorations firm in Keighley that fell into administration shortly before Christmas look to have been dashed.

A total of 187 jobs were lost when Fuzzwire shut down.

Now a union boss has described the firm as “the Marie Celeste of the factory world”.

Steve Davison, president of Keighley Trades Union Council, 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 new jobs might be created.

But Mr Davison 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.”

Visiting the site 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 this week 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 shockwaves spread throughout the area, Keighley Conservative MP Kris Hopkins said he would contact relevant government departments as a matter of 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.”

However, Mr Hopkins told the Keighley News that as soon as he became aware of the situation at Fuzzwire, he wrote to Business Secretary Vince Cable and Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith asking for help to be provided to those who had lost their jobs.

He added: “This included a request to assist those affected back into work, and the provision of proper support during this process.

“I will continue to keep in contact with the respective ministerial private offices on these matters as we seek to find a way forward.

“No-one should be in any doubt that I will continue to do all I can to assist these constituents who have been placed in a dreadful position through no fault of their own.”

Mr Parker said he had 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. I have no money in my pocket, but something will crop up.”

Comments (4)

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11:16am Thu 9 Jan 14

KarmaExists says...

My two cents on this because there seems to be a new story about it every day...and I'm beating around the bush here, too.

Let me just say that it is was probably the fate of this business to be over this Christmas because things were beyond comprehension. I worked there and the stuff that went on on the factory floor was unbelievable and pretty sad to say the least. If certain people (they know who they are) weren't so disgustingly and pointlessly jealous of someone working so hard, or because of the way they dressed/others peoples opinion on them, then perhaps more work would of got done in time? It was like primary school all over again every day in that place. Some people were acting like children there, and it really affected certain people too. Although a great deal of people there were genuine; they worked hard, got along with everyone and actually cared about where the business was heading. Others did very little (but had safe jobs ;) ) and did all they can to get anybody who shined above them sacked, or worse.

I learnt a LOT about people whilst working there, and I'm sure other people there did as well. Some stuff I already knew, others that I actually doubted people were capable of. These people were what helped ruin this business. The financial side is unknown to me, but I'll bet if the actual labour side of things was sorted out then none of this would of happened. But that is life, and everything happens for a reason...

To put things into a clearer perspective in a paragraph, and to hint to people who I am - I didn't get trained by my "team leader" there because I worked so fast and learnt things so quickly...no doubt he did this to countless others, too. Oh, and he thought management didn't know about it, but he got caught out doing it to me! Funny really...it has made my confidence sky high, and taught me that I'm better than the "work" I did there. :)

Think it was my karma anyway, I'm on a better path than I was when employed there, so I've taken something good from it.
My two cents on this because there seems to be a new story about it every day...and I'm beating around the bush here, too. Let me just say that it is was probably the fate of this business to be over this Christmas because things were beyond comprehension. I worked there and the stuff that went on on the factory floor was unbelievable and pretty sad to say the least. If certain people (they know who they are) weren't so disgustingly and pointlessly jealous of someone working so hard, or because of the way they dressed/others peoples opinion on them, then perhaps more work would of got done in time? It was like primary school all over again every day in that place. Some people were acting like children there, and it really affected certain people too. Although a great deal of people there were genuine; they worked hard, got along with everyone and actually cared about where the business was heading. Others did very little (but had safe jobs ;) ) and did all they can to get anybody who shined above them sacked, or worse. I learnt a LOT about people whilst working there, and I'm sure other people there did as well. Some stuff I already knew, others that I actually doubted people were capable of. These people were what helped ruin this business. The financial side is unknown to me, but I'll bet if the actual labour side of things was sorted out then none of this would of happened. But that is life, and everything happens for a reason... To put things into a clearer perspective in a paragraph, and to hint to people who I am - I didn't get trained by my "team leader" there because I worked so fast and learnt things so quickly...no doubt he did this to countless others, too. Oh, and he thought management didn't know about it, but he got caught out doing it to me! Funny really...it has made my confidence sky high, and taught me that I'm better than the "work" I did there. :) Think it was my karma anyway, I'm on a better path than I was when employed there, so I've taken something good from it. KarmaExists
  • Score: 2

3:20pm Thu 9 Jan 14

pjl20 says...

Why wasn't Kris Hopkins MP asked to try and obtain money from Yorkshire's Regional Growth Fund that is worth £310 millions?

I note that Deputy PM, Nick Clegg has arrived in Sheffield today, to help smaller businesses, who are having a tough time surviving.

It is claimed that 56,000 new jobs have been created in this Region as a consequence of the RGF.
Why wasn't Kris Hopkins MP asked to try and obtain money from Yorkshire's Regional Growth Fund that is worth £310 millions? I note that Deputy PM, Nick Clegg has arrived in Sheffield today, to help smaller businesses, who are having a tough time surviving. It is claimed that 56,000 new jobs have been created in this Region as a consequence of the RGF. pjl20
  • Score: -2

7:54pm Thu 9 Jan 14

Little Green Man says...

PJ, just like Bradford isn't Keighley neither is Sheffield - just in case you were struggling with your geography again :)
PJ, just like Bradford isn't Keighley neither is Sheffield - just in case you were struggling with your geography again :) Little Green Man
  • Score: 2

8:16pm Thu 9 Jan 14

jimmy k says...

surprised its not the immigrants fault pjl
surprised its not the immigrants fault pjl jimmy k
  • Score: 0

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