SHOCKED STAFF at a Mossley company have been thrown on the dole after the doors closed at R Etchells & Sons this week.
Now, a gofundme page has been set up to try and soften the blow of redundancy for the workers and their families less than a week before Christmas.
The workforce of around 30 were called to a meeting on Monday morning and told they were being laid off, still owed wages and without any imminent prospect of redundancy pay.
One worker, who didn’t wish to be named, said: “Some people were crying when they heard what was to happen.
“We never expected anything like this. In fact, we were all expecting the usual Christmas bonus and there was even supposed to be a works’ ‘do’ at the Hare and Hounds at Luzley.
“But we were met by four or five people who turned up in suits. They were already changing the locks and we were all told to go home.
“It’s never nice to be made redundant but it feels even worse at this time of the year. We are all devastated.”
The well-known fireplace and fire surround manufacturing company operated from two sites: at Vale Mill on Micklehurst Road and at the Glover Centre on Egmont Street.
It is thought most of the workforce are Mossley residents, some who have been employed for nearly 30 years.
Back in January 2015, the company celebrated clinching a four-year deal to supply housing associations including First Choice Homes.
Later the same year the firm was taken over by the HLD Group. The firm’s registered office at Companies House is listed in Leicestershire.
When initially contacted by the Correspondent, a woman at the factory, who wouldn’t give her name, said: “We don’t have to comment at this time.”
The Correspondent also contacted Nick Robins, HLD’s chief operating officer. After refusing to discuss the Etchells case, he hung up.
Despite the move towards administration it is believed several fitters had been kept on to deal with existing orders.
The business was formed by Saddleworth based Roy Etchells from his garden shed nearly half a century ago.
Roy and Mark Etchells resigned as directors in August 2015. At the same time Dermis Ohanjanian was appointed while in April 2016, Rob Hassell became a director.
The gofundme page has been started by Wendy Kirkbride who works at Micklehurst All Saints School, with a goal to raise £4,000. To contribute visit https://www.gofundme.com/lets-give-etchells-staff-a-xmas