Shirt-maker lays off staff temporarily on contract loss
Smyth & Gibson, a company that manufactures shirts for well-known brands including Thomas Pink and House of Fraser, has told staff there will be no work at the factory until mid-May after losing a major client.
According to media reports, management notified staff of a five week layoff starting on 9 April. During that time, the shirt-maker aims to find new potential clients to save the future of the business.
Employees were told that they will be paid £27 per day for the first five days of the layoff. No additional payments will be made after that. The company advised its staff to contact their local jobs office.
Smyth & Gibson currently employs 54 people in its factory in Londonderry. It had recently received a £500,000 loan from the Northern Ireland Growth Loan Fund to break into new markets, further develop its existing export markets of Canada and Germany and build its online presence.
The brand is one of the last remaining traditional handmade shirt-makers in Great Britain and Ireland.
Foyle DUP MLA Gary Middleton commented: “My office is currently assisting several staff from the Smyth and Gibson shirt factory after they were contacted by management to inform them that they have lost one of their main customers.
"This has obviously caused much concern among the staff and fears for their future employment.
"I have already made contact with the company who are working to resolve the situation. I will continue to work with those affected and to provide advice and guidance where appropriate.”
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