The bosses at the Sheffield engineering company Davy Markham – now in administration – have treated the workforce ‘with contempt’, Unite, the country’s largest union, said today (Thursday 1 March).

Unite, which represents more than 100 workers, said the directors had managed the company ‘appallingly’ and had now ‘walked off into the sunset’ with the parent company Hughes Armstrong Industries.

Unite regional officer Harriet Eisner said: “What we have here is another example of irresponsible industrial management with the dedicated workers paying with their jobs and the taxpayer picking up the tab.

“The company’s notice of redundancies and calling in of the administrators happened without consultation this week. This was a workforce who had time and time again taken cuts to their terms and conditions to keep the company going.

“The workforce has been treated appallingly and with contempt during this whole process, while the directors appear to have walked off into the sunset with owner Hughes Armstrong Industries.

“The directors failed to pay wages for the last month and have not honoured pension contributions for their employees, and even deducted the workers' own pension contributions and failed to pay them on to the pension fund.

“More than 100 skilled workers are now unemployed in Sheffield and are having to apply to the government for their statutory rights.

“Yet again, a company has been run into the ground, but the management and directors get to walk away scot free. This is an all too familiar tale in modern Britain.

“Our members will have to rely on the taxpayer to get them their minimum redundancy payout and will have to take the company to court for failing to consult with them over the redundancies.

“This is a tragedy for UK engineering and manufacturing generally, and, in particular, for Sheffield with its proud engineering tradition.

“Unite will be guiding our members through the process of claiming their redundancy payments, outstanding wages and pension contributions. We will also be seeking a protective award from the courts for lack of consultation over the redundancies.”

Davy Markham, which designed and delivered parts for huge global civil engineering projects, had been taken over by Hughes Armstrong Industries and Swiss financier CLEARSIGHT.


Notes to editors:

For more information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 020 3371 2060 or 07768 693940. Unite press office is on: 020 3371 2065 Email:

Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.