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UK — Union calls off picket due to bankruptcy

01 September 2009

A union that threatened to picket a recruitment agency which it claimed owed money to workers said it would call off the action if reports the company has gone into liquidation are true, this is Derbyshire reports.

Unite had threatened to picket West Recruitment at its offices in Osmaston Road, Derby, and also demonstrate outside the home of one of its directors, because of non-payment of wages.


Now the director, Daniel Cullen, has told the Derby Telegraph that the firm has been put into liquidation.

This leaves uncertain the future of thousands of pounds which is owed to the firm's creditors.

Unite claimed that West Recruitment had not paid the wages of a number of construction workers it supplied to a building site in Camberwell, London.
The union said the workers were promised wages of £10.50 an hour, but have still not received the cash.

Branch secretary Steve Pryle, from the Unite 1406 branch in South-East London, said the planned demonstrations would be cancelled if reports the company has gone into liquidation were true. Mr Pryle said he had been told that West Recruitment had been put into liquidation by Svetli Tomov, who also said he had resigned as the company's operations director. A third director was Daniel Cullen's brother, Robert.

Mr Pryle said: "When Mr Tomov told me that West Recruitment had gone into liquidation and that the Derby office had been closed I asked the union's researchers to check this information.

"They came back to me and said that nothing had been registered at Companies House but I will now ask them to check again. There's no point picketing Mr Cullen's house if its gone into liquidation.

"We would need to contact the liquidators to find out if there are any assets. If we clearly establish that the Cullens have assets we will go after these in order to make sure people are repaid."

Daniel Cullen, of Littleover, said West Recruitment had been put into liquidation after a bank "pulled the plug" on its funding.
The company was registered in August 2007 and employed 13 people — seven of whom worked in its Derby office.

He said: "In our first year we made over £1.4m, excluding VAT. It wasn't until last year that the bank pulled the plug because they believed the venture was too risky.
"We are one of the creditors ourselves. The money we have put in personally we are not going to get back. Looking at the company's assets is a natural part of liquidation."

Mr Cullen said the firm owed "thousands" to creditors. Mr Tomov said he started as operations director for the firm in November 2007 but has since resigned.
Mr Tomov, of Mickleover, said his role had not involved financial matters. He said: "My role involved working with telecommunications technicians, in the health and safety sector and ensuring workers had passed medical, drug and alcohol tests.

"It is essential to note that in my time I have not been involved in any of the company's financial affairs or financial decisions."

Mr Tomov denied he had told Unite that West Recruitment had gone into liquidation and said Mr Pryle had assumed this because he had said the firm's offices were closed.

 

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