Alderson situation uncertain as group comes under fire
By Tim Sheahan Friday, 07 September 2012
The Alderson Print Group has been criticised for the "disgraceful" way it has treated clients and staff as the livelihoods of more than a third of its employees hang in the balance.
Up to 90 jobs are on the line as the future of the group’s ABP Web production facility remains unclear. However the group has said redundancies are likely to commence early this month.
The group has sworn the intent to place its ABP Web production subsidiary into administration, but has not yet filed notice to appoint administrators to the division, despite previously indicating it had.
The Molesey-based business is still in the midst of ongoing talks with Barclays after previously publicly attacking the bank for allegedly withdrawing part of its CID facility, a charge the bank has strongly denied.
Last week, Alderson Group chief executive Amanda Syson said the firm had been "left with no other choice" but to start the administration process for the web subsidiary.
"Staff have been paid until the end of the month [August], but owing to the extremely difficult situation we’ve been placed in, we will have to start informing staff about their futures to prevent them from coming in and risk not getting paid," she added.
However, this contradicts what several members of staff have said to PrintWeek.
Staff have cited a breakdown in communication between themselves and the board, with some yet to be paid as of Tuesday (4 September). The group was unable to comment at the time of going to press.
APG has said that, if required, it will use its "trusted print partners" to carry out its web production work for clients while its other divisions including sheetfed, POS and digital continue to trade well.
But one senior print buyer has branded the treatment it has received from the group as "disgusting and disgraceful" and confirmed that it would no longer work with the firm.
"As a major client, you would expect them to have communicated with us on a regular basis, but it has been left down to us to chase them up. I’m not happy," they said.
Upon learning of the situation at the group, the print buyer confirmed that they had taken the decision to move the work elsewhere, cutting its losses with any work left printed by the group.
"The main thing is that they can forget working with us again," they added. "Phoning them to be told that the work we were expecting had not been produced is simply not on and it risks damaging us as a result."
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