Backpay for staff as talks over Schivo site continue

Philip Oakes, Unite's Regional Organiser.
Philip Oakes, Unite's Regional Organiser.

Workers at a Derry engineering firm which has gone into administration are to get the wages owed to them, union officials have confirmed.

The workers at the Schivo (NI) plant met with administrators on Wednesday morning to discuss the future for the plant and its workforce following the shock closure on Friday last.

Philip Oakes,regional organiser with the union Unite said that administrators told the workers that the wages owed, believed to be around a fortnight’s paid, will be paid to them this Friday.

Efforts are understood to be ongoing to try to find a buyer for the Maydown plant, which employed 83 people.

Speaking after the meeting on Wednesday, Mr Oakes said: “The workers have been assured that any outstanding wages will be paid. There was relief about that aspect.

“The workers will meet with the administrators again next Wednesday. That gives them a week to progress any discussions that are ongoing.”

Mr Oakes said hopefully there will be some progress on this front.

The workforce at the former aerospace engineering firm will only move into a redundancy situation if no buyer is found.

Another possibility is that certain contracts which were under way at the plant may be taken over, which may result in the operation continuing in a reduced capacity and some jobs being salvaged.

Mr Oakes said if this was to be the case the administrators “would just be overseeing the fulfilment of those contracts and that will only be short term”.

Waterford-based company Schivo announced last Friday that they had been forced to call in administrators Duff & Phelps after being unable to turn around the Derry plant, which they purchased in mid-2015.

Speaking earlier this week, a spokesperson for Duff & Phelps confirmed:

“The Administrators will be conducting a full review of the company and its operations.”