Pension contributions ‘not paid’ by Oundle and Corby boat builders Fairline

Fairline factory and offices at Oundle - possible complete closure in the town EMN-151127-121403009
Fairline factory and offices at Oundle - possible complete closure in the town EMN-151127-121403009

Luxury boat builder Fairline Boats, which has bases in Oundle and Corby, has not paid its pension contributions for three months, says trade union Unite.

The firm, which made 185 people redundant following its recent takeover by private equity company Wessex Bristol, moved out of its Oundle headquarters on Friday, November 27, as part of an effort to reduce costs.

And now trade union Unite claims Fairline has not paid its pension contributions – despite deductions from staff wages.

Unite regional officer Mick Orpin said: “The future at Fairline is cloaked in management silence and evasion.

“This devil take the hindmost attitude is heralding a bleak Christmas for our members.

“The workers, who have been laid off, have been abandoned – many have not been paid for 10 weeks.

“They have now fallen behind with mortgage and rent payments and are looking at a grim Christmas.

“The laid-off workers are now being forced to resign to claim redundancy payments, which the company has no intention of paying.

“This means a claim will now have to be made through the national insurance fund and it will take months for our members to receive any payment.

“We need to emphasise that there is no support coming from the company for those displaced workers – basically, the management is behaving like Pontius Pilate and washing its hands of a long-standing dedicated workforce.

“And to add insult to injury, we have just found out that company has not been paying members’ pension contributions, even though it has deducted from their wages.

“Questions certainly need to be asked as to why the current legislation can allow an employer to act in such a draconian way and treat its workforce in such a diabolical manner.

“These workers are loyal employees and don’t deserve this kind of treatment.

“To compound the situation, the local MP Tom Pursglove, who has raised the company’s situation in the House of Commons, has been trying to meet with the company for the past six weeks, but the management has just snubbed his requests.

“We understand that there is very limited production, but we believe there are orders in the pipeline.

“Last week, we believe a handful of workers have been asked to return to work.”