Britain’s largest union, Unite today (Wednesday 29 November) accused Henry Stone Printers of ‘shamefully leaving workers high and dry’ and ‘going in to hiding’ as it emerged that workers at its troubled Kent subsidiary Stones Ashford Limited had not been paid as they should yesterday (Tuesday 28 November).
Unite had been led to believe by Henry Stone’s managing director Richard Walsh that Stones Ashford in Kent would be placed into administration yesterday and the workers paid.
This has not happened according to Unite, leaving workers uncertain of their future and whether they will be able to afford Christmas.
Around 100 workers at Stones Ashford were sent home on Friday 17 November after the power was cut off following non-payment of an electricity bill. Since then, Unite has repeatedly sought guarantees from parent company Henry Stone Printers that workers will be paid, as well as clarity over the Ashford print firm’s future.
Commenting Unite regional officer Phil Silkstone said: “Workers at Stones Ashford in Kent are upset and angry. They face uncertainty over their future while bosses at the parent company Henry Stone Printers have disappeared into hiding and shamefully left them high and dry in the run-up to Christmas.
“The managing director of Henry Stone Printers claimed that Stones Ashford would go into administration yesterday and we were led to believe that workers would be paid. This appears to not have happened and despite repeated attempts to seek clarification none has been forthcoming from bosses.
“All this comes at a time when Henry Stone Printers is boasting to customers that it is investing in it Banbury operation. It’s time that workers got the answers they deserve and the hard earned wages there are entitled to.
“Bosses would be naïve to think they can simply ignore the situation and it will go away. It won’t and Unite will not rest until our members get the pay they’ve earned and the answers they deserve.”
For further information please contact the Unite press office on 020 3371 2065 or Unite head of media and campaigns Alex Flynn on 020 3371 2066 or 07967 665869.
Notes to editors:
- Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.