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Union chief hits out over job losses at Mayflower.

A union leader has called for a public inquiry into the "scandal" involving pensions at troubled engineering group Mayflower, which went into administration last month with the loss of hundreds of jobs, including 40 in the North.

Tony Woodley, general secretary of the Transport and General Workers Union, accused directors of putting thousands of jobs at risk by "running the company into the ground".

And he claimed that while the pensions of former directors appeared to be secure, thousands of workers feared theirs could be hit.

Mr Woodley said: "It sickens me that an administrator can walk in, sack people, some with 40 years service. The rules he is working to make the 19th Century mill owners look like Father Christmas. We need to change the law."

Mr Woodley called on the Government to change the system of company administration which had allowed 350 workers to be sacked without any notice or consultation. A spokeswoman for Mayflower administrators Deloitte said that all of the group's pension funds were being reviewed as part of the administration team's work.

She said: "At this stage, they are not in a position to comment as they have not completed investigations, but once they have, they will be able to update current and former employees of the firm on the status of their schemes." The spokeswoman defended Deloitte's actions on taking control of the Mayflower group, saying that the mass redundancies were "a necessity to stem costs and ensure the businesses were in line with market conditions".

Administrators are still searching for buyers for the Mayflower businesses, including Middlesbrough- based Mayflower Energy, which specialises in offshore wind turbines.

The company went into administration at the start of the month, just days after the arrival on Teesside of the world's largest offshore wind farm installation vessel, the multi-million pound Mayflower Resolution.
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Apr 21, 2004
Words:305
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