Worker slams collapsed Sunderland building firm over job losses

Peter Thompson, of Wearworth Drive, Chester-le-Street, who is taking action against Thompson Builders (TAPS) after he was told without notice that his job was going.

Peter Thompson, of Wearworth Drive, Chester-le-Street, who is taking action against Thompson Builders (TAPS) after he was told without notice that his job was going.

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A WORKER told he no longer had a job at a minute’s notice has hit out at the “unprofessional” manner in which he was made redundant.

Peter Thompson is planning to take legal advice through employment service Acas after losing his position at TAPS, sister company of Sunderland-based Thompson Building Centres.

“I feel completely let down,” said the 29-year-old, who worked for the company for more than three years.

“Someone handed me a letter from HR and that was it: my job was gone.

“I hadn’t expected it, and it was done in such an unprofessional manner. I was quite shocked and still am.”

Eighty people lost their jobs with the closure of branches of Thompson’s and sister company TAPS across the region. The firm had gone into administration just days earlier, with accountants KPMG appointed in response to a winding-up petition from HM Revenue and Customs.

Administrator Mark Firmin said the firm had fallen victim to tough times in the market.

“The business has been impacted by weak trading conditions across the sector which has led to cash pressures.

“Ultimately, an inability to pay last month’s wage bill and the issuing of a winding-up petition by HMRC have resulted in Thompson’s entering administration.” Mr Thompson, said: “Of course we knew there were difficult trading conditions and that it’s a hard time in the industry at the minute.

“The day before I got my letter, we heard they’d shut the South Shields and York branch and that things were being moved to Sunderland.”

He added: “I have a month’s pay due to me, but I’ve now been instructed to make a claim for this through the insolvency service.

“I’m now looking to take some legal advice through Acas to find out exactly what position I’m in.”

Mr Thompson, of Chester-le-Street, worked as a branch sales assistant.

He said: “I feel I’ve been left facing extreme hardship, and it could take up to six weeks to sort my financial position out.”