THE entire workforce of bust building firm Robison and Davidson Construction were made redundant last week after going into administration.
Despite efforts from local councillors, MPs, MSPs and employees, over 200 former employees are now facing a future of uncertainty.
Ernst and Young were appointed as administrators last Thursday morning and met with the R&D workforce in Dumfries and Stranraer on Friday to announce that 205 jobs were going. Now the staff are hoping to be paid a redundnacy sum and outstanding wages, which failed to materlialise in bank accounts as usual, as soon as possible.
Advice was being given to former R&D staff members yesterday (Thursday) in Stranraer from several public service bodies, known as PACE, with regards to supporting them through the coming weeks.
R&D had been contracted to undertake the regeneration of Stranraer’s Dick’s Hill area through social housing company DGHP, who have reassured residents and locals that all efforts will be made to complete the work - using local subcontractors if necessary.
Ernst and Young joint administrator Andrew Davison said: “Constructive discussions have taken place with the company’s key customer, but it has become clear there are a number of significant issues to be addressed before a transfer of contract can be pursued.
“This process is likely to take weeks rather than days, and, mindful of the uncertainty already facing staff, we believe it is both untenable and unfair to keep them in what would essentially be a limbo situation. All those leaving today do so with our utmost sympathies.”
Steps have already been taken to ease some of the burden on those who have lost their jobs and to assist them as they seek work elsewhere.”
Negotiations have also been underway to allow staff back onsite to retrieve their tools.
John Potts, Chairman of DGHP, said: “On behalf of DGHP’s Board of Management and staff, we are extremely sorry to hear the news that the workforce of R&D Construction have been made redundant. It is especially sad when a situation like this affects local people, many of whom we have worked closely with for years.
“We are now in talks with their Administrators, however due to the size and nature of the contract, this situation is extremely complex and requires a lot of consideration. We must ensure that the company considers all the options available and makes an informed decision about the most appropriate way forward.
“The vast majority of our tenants who were moved into other DGHP properties, while the regeneration works were on-going, have now returned to their new homes and are delighted with their new communities.
“There are, however, a minority that may have to wait a little longer to move into their new homes. We are, however confident that a new contract, whoever that may be with, will be put in place and priority will be given to complete these homes for our tenants.”