News that crane and plant hire specialist Hewden is going into administration was described as a ‘sickening blow’ by Britain’s largest union, Unite as it today (Tuesday 22 November) pledged to fight to secure as many jobs as possible.
Unite has been in contact with the administrators Ernst & Young over today’s announcement which affects over 750 staff including crane drivers, customer service staff, plant fitters and maintenance crews.
Working out of 40 plus depots across the UK, they provide plant machinery and cranes for the construction industry and customers such as British Steel and the Grangemouth and Fawley refineries.
Unite, which represents mainly crane operators at Hewden, is also in contact with other plant hire and crane operating companies to try and secure jobs for Hewden workers and ensure continuity of service for customers.
The union understands that over 250 workers in Hewden’s crane division face redundancy while 130 workers from the firm’s plant hire business have been transferred to A-Plant. The remaining workforce across the UK face losing their jobs if a buyer for their depots cannot be found.
Commenting Unite national officer Bernard McAulay said: “This is a sickening blow for workers in the run up to Christmas and is the result of a succession of venture capitalists hawking Hewden around the market over a number of years to make a quick buck.
“Unite will be fighting to secure the futures of Hewden workers and supporting them in any way we can through this difficult time. We are currently in contact with the administrators over the transfer of workers to A-Plant, in addition to other crane operators and plant hire companies to try and find work for under threat Hewden workers.
“Unite will also be working closely with the administrators to ensure worker’s aren’t short changed out of their pensions and that a future for the company’s workers can be secured.”
For further information please contact 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.