Engineering jobs at risk as firm placed in administration

Concern at the loss of skilled jobs from the former Maydown factory
Concern at the loss of skilled jobs from the former Maydown factory

The jobs of more than 80 skilled workers at a Londonderry engineering firm are at risk with the news tht Schivo NI, formerly Maydown Precision Engineering has gone into administion.

Schivo which took over the well-known business in July 2015 said it had been “unable to turnaround” the company.

The 83 workers now face a period of uncertainty as the aerospace operator said any decision regarding redundancies will not happen until administrators complete a full review of the company.

Philip Oakes, regional officer with Unite, said the temporary closure of the factory was officially announced to workers on Friday morning and said both the firm and the Executive has questions to answer.

“Employment at the former Maydown Precision Engineering site in Derry has fallen to eighty-two over the last few years,” he said.

“Unite has repeatedly warned about the risk to these jobs following attempts by Schivo to de-recognise the union when they acquired the company 18 months ago.

“Local political leaders told us that they would not publicly intervene as they had been provided assurances by the new management over long-term employment. Sadly, we now see the worth of those promises.”

The decision, he added, was the latest blow to the industrial base of the North West.

“It also reinforces the need for both NI Executive parties to reconsider their opposition to an industrial strategy necessary to safeguard jobs in this vital sector and to secure balanced regional development.

A spokesperson for the Waterford-based Schivo Group said the administration had come about despite the best efforts of management and considerable investment.

“Duff & Phelps has been appointed as Joint Administrators and are conducting a thorough review of the company and its operations before advising us on the best course of action.

“All other companies in Schivo Group are unaffected and continue to operate as normal.

“We are supporting our colleagues at Schivo NI during this process and thank them for their dedication to the turnaround we undertook.

“We hope to be able to provide clarity on the future of the site as soon as possible.”

“The Administrators are conducting a full review of the company and its operations before making any decisions regarding redundancies.”

Regardless, Mr Oakes said the union would be seeking clarity on whether the work previously done at the site will now transfer to the Schivo site in Waterford.

“We would be very concerned if this turns out to be another case like Chain Reaction Cycles where large numbers of workers were made redundant after an external acquisition resulted in work being transferred elsewhere.