Kent-based steelmaker Thamesteel has entered into administration, according to sources involved in discussions.
News of the insolvency has left the jobs of 400 staff at the Garden of England employer hanging in the balance following an official meeting at the company’s headquarters in Sheerness earlier today (25 January 2012).
At a meeting with union officials yesterday, it was confirmed staff would not be paid their January wages despite the company having continued to trade throughout January. Further meetings with staff are scheduled later this week.
Thamesteel was rumoured to have been the subject of potential buyout from oil firm Trafigura until this week when the deal fell through.
Michael Leahy, general secretary of the trade union Community, said today’s news was devastating for everybody working at the company and for the wider community in Sheerness.
He added: “Community believes that Sheerness steelmaking can have a future and we will be doing all we can to save our steel in the coming weeks and months.
“We will also ensure that our members’ rights are upheld at this difficult time. Once the administrators are appointed, we are willing to work with them to deepen and widen the search for an investor and we want to work with anybody who wants to give Thamesteel a future.
“Any investor who did come forward would find a proud and committed workforce dedicated to continuing production at the UK’s first mini-mill.”
No representatives from Thamesteel were available to comment at the time of going to press.