AS confirmation came at 9.30am today that building firm R&D Construction had gone into administration by Ernst & Young, hundreds of workers were seeking reassurances over their due pay packets.
And housing firm DGHP, which contracted R&D for major town regeneration schemes in Stranraer and Dumfries, said it would use sub-contractors if necessary to finish local projects.
R&D workers have met with councillors to ask for help in getting on-site for their tools and for an indication of when they should expect their wages.
Almost 300 staff from across the region were told not to report to work on Monday and many had suspected problems when their wages failed to materialise in bank accounts last week.
Now Stranraer and North Rhins Councillor Willie Scobie says there had been lots of to-ing and fro-ing between Lloyds TSB and R&D over who would call in the administrators - with the bank finally making the call.
He told The Gazette yesterday following crisis talks with DGHP: “I have major concerns as to the value being set against the company. The bank are asking for an unrealistic figure to save the parts of the company in Stranraer and north-west Dumfries and I wonder how much of this is once again down the greed of the bank.”
The councillor, who will stand for a Holyrood seat next month, said he had been involved in “very constructive talks” with DGHP over the sites which have been sealed off by the bank and said that workers are desperate to get back onsite for their tools.
He said: “We held a meeting with staff in Stranraer last night (Wednesday) and around 60 turned up, all of whom are obviously highly concerned about their wages and their tools.”
MP Russell Brown is now trying to pursue the administrators for workers’ wages and to ensure, as requested by the workforce, clear lines of communication between them and the administrators.
While a buyer for the company is sought, DGHP said it hoped to be able to transfer the workers along with any potential sale but if that did not happen local subcontractors would be sought.
Added Mr Scobie: “As Labour councillors, we want to see the workers back in work. If a buyer does not materialise, DGHP will look at how they can turn this situation around.”
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