Employees at Browns Coachworks Ltd have been made jobless without redundancy packages issued by the firm, a former staff member has claimed.
Last week the Star reported that Browns, a fire engine and coach engineer manufacturer, had gone into administration with Belfast firm, Keenan Corporate Finance Ltd, appointed joint administrators.
The employee contacted the paper to claim staff members had been “left high and dry” since they were informed of their redundancy last Friday.
The man, who did not wish to be named, said he and his former colleagues - of which he estimated were around 22 - had been forced to apply for statutory redundancy from the government, which he added he could wait up to five months before it comes into effect.
“Everyone is still in shock. Some of the workers have been at Browns since they left school; one employee was in tears. If I had received a package from the firm it would have been worth around £11,000. That would have given me and my family some breathing space; I have a wife and two young children,” he said.
“But the statuatory money is better than nothing. Everyone is in shock. I went to sign on and I bumped into a work colleague.”
Browns Coachworks, which is family-run, has been in existance for the past 150 years and includes the Princess Royal, Princess Anne, among their clients.
The paper contacted the company at their base on the Moira Road, however, no one answered our calls. A spokeswoman for Keenan Corporate Ltd declined to comment
Speaking last week, Alderman Allan Ewart, chairman of Lisburn City Council’s Economic Development Committee, said that he hoped a resolution could be found to safeguard the firm. “This company has been making a significant contribution to the local economy here in Lisburn for 150 years, supporting local jobs, and working for clients as diverse as the Northern Ireland Fire Brigade to the Princess Royal,” he said.