Waringstown construction company has been major contractor for Housing Executive
Up to 140 jobs have been lost at a Housing Executive contractor near Portadown as it faces liquidation amid the pressure of rising costs in the building trade.
JMC Mechanical and Construction carried out a mix of private and public sector work from its headquarters in Waringstown, and is thought to have employed up to 140 people.
The firm, which has now ceased trading, also had premises in Drumbo in Lisburn and Bleary. It was run by Bernadette McCully (61) and James McCully (54).
According to its website, it has been carrying out work on the bathrooms of Housing Executive homes, and has been renovating a house in Clifton Street in Belfast.
Seamas Keating, a director at accountancy firm PKF-FPM, confirmed to the Belfast Telegraph that he had been appointed to advise the company on the process leading up to liquidation.
He said: “Obviously the impact of increased costs on the construction industry has impacted the company.
“It’s now very early in the process of it going into liquidation. It has ceased trading and we are giving them advice on the wind-down of the company.”
However, he said the number of employees who would lose their job had not yet been confirmed.
According to reports, employees were informed yesterday that the business had stopped trading.
Sinn Fein Upper Bann MLA John O’Dowd said the employees were losing their jobs “through no fault of their own”.
“Those workers have rights and entitlements which must be honoured including their wages and redundancies.
“I will be engaging with all the relevant authorities to ensure those workers who have lost their jobs receive the monies owed to them and their families.”
SDLP Upper Bann MLA Dolores Kelly said she understood some staff had already secured other work.
But she said the loss of the jobs was still “devastating” to people in the area.
“This is the latest in a long line of mass job losses we have experienced and we need to see action from the Executive to protect jobs and encourage investment in these areas to regenerate employment.”
The Housing Executive said the firm carried out repairs for tenants in Lisburn and Castlreagh, and was also contracted to work on improvement schemes in those areas, as well as Belfast.
“Our priority at this stage is to ensure minimal disruption to services for tenants and those planned maintenance improvement works which are on site.
“We are now implementing contingency arrangements regarding these services.
“We will provide a further update in due course.”
Mark Spence, managing director of building trade body The Construction Employers Federation, said many firms in the industry had been unable to meet demand due to the rising cost of materials.
On average, materials costs have gone up 25% in price, with timber, steel, concrete and hardware particularly badly affected.
He said the industry was also affected by labour shortages but that escalating costs were the most crippling factor.