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Synmet employees face uncertain Christmas- COMMENT UPDATE

Employees of Synmet face an uncertain Christmas after being unable to contact the senior managers who run the company.

Staff at the firm are also wondering if their last seven weeks wages have vanished into thin air with a former employee telling MRW that he has no idea if he will receive any pay in time for Christmas.

The last official instruction given out by management was that there were financial difficulties in Holland, but to continue working under the existing banner of Synmet UK.

However, the fact that a lease company reclaimed his service van during the middle of last week was the first sign for the employee that he no longer had a job with the company.

He said: Its amazing they can act like they have. I have been in touch with the insolvency people in Holland and they said they are not dealing with it, while I contacted Duncan Bowett [UK managing director] and he said its nothing to do with me, Ive resigned.

The company are not insolvent on the Companies House database, but the fact is, I havent received wages for seven weeks. If it is insolvent, I can claim £290 in wages from the National Insurance, but I need evidence.

And even if I do get another job, I havent got a P45, which means Ill go on to emergency tax. There must be someone pulling the strings somewhere. What really gripes me is that when they heard about problems in Holland, they told us to continue. But there has been no notice, so Im still technically employed. The situation stinks.

With young children and Christmas looming, the former employee faces a difficult time, but says he just wants answers as to what is going on.

Synmet is the agent that supplies equipment from a Dutch-based group of manufacturers. These are Artech (shredding and granulating technology), Boa (balers), Hidding (screens and conveyors) and Nihot (air technology for waste separation).

Two services engineers and a services manager all face Christmas without pay, while an accountant and a number of sales staff are thought to be in the same position.

Industry rumours suggest that Synmet Holdings chief executive Gert Van Laar was relieved of his position last month.

Attempts by MRW to contact Synmet both in the UK and the head office in the Netherlands proved fruitless.

At Synmets UK headquarters in Telford, a receptionist answering the call on the companys behalf said: I am covering four companies based in this building and there is nobody on site at all for Synmet and I have no contact number for anyone involved with the company.
Comment Update: As the wife of the former service manager I can agree with the article 100%, but not only has there been no information given to us, my husband is now in the position of being unsure of where he stands legally, as when asked for a letter to produce to the mortgage company to safeguard our family home, my husband was produced with a letter stating his contracted had been termintated. So we are now unsure whether he has been sacked or made redundant. With Christmas around the corner and two children to clothe and feed we are unsure of whether we will ever get the money we are owed be it redundancy or unfair dismissal. Anon, 12/12/2006


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