Pindar sackings: 'Heartbreak' as historic Yorkshire firm makes hundreds of staff redundant without pay

A Yorkshire couple have spoken of their shock after hundreds of Pindar staff were made redundant without pay last week.

The historic Scarborough printing firm, which dates back to 1836 and is one of the town's best-known companies, entered administration on Thursday March 31.

Stephanie Barnett, a former employee at the site four years ago, and whose partner Dave was the firm's factory manager, said the situation is "heartbreaking".

Sign up to our Business newsletter

"For us, it's been a shock more than anything else. We genuinely didn't see it coming," she added.

Pindar's former employees have rallied together to support one another following the mass sacking.

Parent group YM Group, which rescued Pindar from administration in 2011, said it brought in administrators after a "period of challenging trading that had been exacerbated by the impact of the pandemic and rising prices".

Specialist corporate restructuring company FRP Advisory has been appointed at YM Group's Pindar (Scarborough) Ltd in Eastfield, YM Chantry Ltd in Wakefield and York Mailing Ltd in York.

The decision by YM Group to make hundreds of staff redundant without pay at the three sites has been branded as "disgraceful" by Unite the Union.

Regional Officer Darren Rushworth said: "YM Group has behaved disgracefully. It repeatedly promised workers would be paid and even encouraged them to undertake overtime."

Read More

Read More
Stuart Trousdale inquest: Coroner rules Yorkshire huntsman took his own life

Unite said workers were given payslips but no pay and that the administrators have confirmed 600 staff will not be paid across the three companies, including 274 in Scarborough.

Without the prospect of an investor or a sale, the sites have ceased operations and all staff have been sent home, with a small number retained to assist administrators, including Stephanie's partner Dave.

Ms Barnett said her partner has decades of experience in the printing industry having worked as an apprentice at 18 up to becoming Pindar's factory manager.

"What I find more stressful is I feel more for Dave because he doesn't know what he wants to do next. That's what's difficult for me because printing is all he's ever done."

Stephanie, who is on maternity leave and whose wedding is planned this summer, said she is unsure about the short-term future. "It puts everything else on hold. I don't want to have to sacrifice the time with my child to go back to work early."

She added that if Dave is unable to find work within the next three months "that's going to put some pressure on us financially".

Sir Robert Goodwill, the MP for Scarborough and Whitby, said it was "very sad" and "not good news at all" that Pindar had entered administration, but suggested that technology had perhaps moved on.

"They've had another 10 or 11 years of trading, which is good, but sadly it's the end of an era and very sad to see those jobs go. Some of the workforce who have been in touch with me have been working overtime for the last month but haven't been paid for it and are concerned about how they will pay their bills," he said.

Mr Goodwill appealed for former employees to get in contact with him regarding redundancy as he said he would be more than happy to make representations to the Government on their behalf.

He said: "Moving forward, we need to ensure the redundancy payments that people are entitled to can be made. I stand ready to help if some of these problems are not sorted out by the administrators."

Phil Pierce, partner at FRP Advisory, said: "This has been an incredibly challenging period for the printing sector and, regrettably, the insolvency has led to redundancies at what we know will be an extremely difficult time."

YM Group filed Notices of Intention to appoint administrators at the High Court on Friday March 25.

Pindar's most recent accounts to May 31 2020 show sales of £55.3m.