Bosses at a Tyneside firm say they had no choice but to enter administration leaving its entire workforce without jobs.
DMI (UK) Ltd, based on the West Chirton Industrial Estate in North Shields, has written to its 27 staff telling them they are being made redundant, with managers saying mounting losses mean the business can not go on.
But the move has been met with anger from the GMB union, which has accused the company of leaving the taxpayer to pick up the tab for the company’s collapse.
A spokesman for the company, which re-chromed parts of the machines used by car manufacturers – including Nissan – to press and cut out components for vehicles, said it had been struggling for some time.
“The market fell away from us, as it has from a lot of companies, and we were carrying extremely large losses – which the GMB were well aware of,” he said.
“Everyone in the business was kept well informed and at meetings with the workforce we told them we were in a poor position and that business was declining.
“We had big customers who were buying quite a lot from us but that then fell to around 20% of what we had anticipated and budgeted for.
“It’s disappointing that everything we did couldn’t bring it around.
“With losses mounting we got to a point where we couldn’t survive any longer. Even with the deepest of pockets you cannot carry on with big losses forever.
“But we’re not heartless people here. Everyone did their best and there is no sense of malice in doing this. We feel very upset for the loyal workforce we had.”
Stephen Thompkins, regional organiser for the GMB Northern Region said the decision to axe all of the staff made it “a terrible start to 2014 for the workforce.”
“What is particularly scandalous is that the company are openly signposting the workforce to the Redundancy Payments Service - suggesting that the taxpayer picks up the tab.”
However a spokesman for DMI (UK) Ltd said managers were “quite hopeful” administrators can find someone to take over and run the business, therefore creating a chance that some of the redundant workers could be re-employed.