WORKERS at a Washington branch of a car accessory firm face redundancy after it went into administration.
Thirty-four staff employed by Maccess accused their bosses of being “animals” over how they have been treated, after they turned up for work to find agency staff preparing to pack up the warehouse.
The team, which includes many who have worked for the company since it opened the branch about 34 years ago, were later told the firm had gone into administration.
The firm supplies petrol stations, garages and car accessory shops with stock, with the warehouse in Hertburn Industrial Estate one of 13 around the country believed to have been affected.
Staff staged a sit-in inside the warehouse as they awaited word from their head office, before administrators turned up to say the company had closed down and they would not be paid, with redundancy to be sought through the Government.
One worker, who did not want to be named, said: “Some of us have worked here for 33 years, and to be told nothing, it’s horrible. They’re animals.
“We’ve got people here crying their eyes out because there are direct debits coming out tomorrow and they have no money.”
A wife of another worker said: “There are people there who started after they left school, put in 20 or 30 years service and you think they would have done the decent thing and let people know what is going on.”
A statement from Maccess Automotive said: “With regret we have today appointed BDO LLP as administrators of the following subsidiary businesses Maccess Limited, Pacific Retail Limited and Godfrey Autoparts Limited.
“The wholesale and retail stores have suffered in recent years due to the difficult economic climate being experienced within the automotive trade sector.
“The group has invested heavily, both in time and money, in all areas of these businesses in order to effect a turnaround and bring them into profitability.
“However, despite best efforts, it has not been able to achieve this and the businesses continue to lose money and are therefore no longer viable.
“Unfortunately, the administration process will result in the closure of the following outlets; Maccess cash and carry 11 store closures, Pacific Retail Limited 34 store closures, and Godfrey Autoparts Limited 6 store closures.
“There will also be a loss of approximately 350 jobs arising from the closure programme.
“There is, however, an intention to purchase from the administrators the business of some 32 former Pacific Retail Limited branches to operate from them under the trading style of Motor World. ”