Union in government plea over tiles firm Pilkington's

Image caption, More than 300 staff are employed by the tile manufacturer

Union leaders have urged the government to intervene to help secure the jobs of staff facing redundancy from a tile manufacturer.

Administrators from KPMG are assessing the position at Pilkington's Group, which employs 380 staff in Greater Manchester, Dorset and Dublin.

KPMG said the company had recently suffered intense cash flow problems.

The GMB union has urged the Department for Business to enter talks to examine whether it could be rescued.

Pilkington's Group, which manufactures and distributes wall and floor tiles, has its headquarters in Swinton, Greater Manchester.

'Bad news'

It also runs a site in Poole which includes a quarry with the capacity for 350,000 tons of heavy clay, and a facility in Swords, Dublin.

Paul Flint, joint administrator and associate partner at KPMG Restructuring, said: "Pilkington's Group has suffered intense cash flow pressures as a result of recent adverse trading conditions.

"Indeed, it's no coincidence that the latest BRC-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor indicated that furniture and floor coverings were the worst-performing sectors within retail, highlighting the reluctance of consumers to commit to big-ticket purchases while uncertainty over the future looms.

"We intend to trade the Pilkington's Group business while we seek a purchaser for the company and its assets, and would encourage any interested parties to contact us as soon as possible."

Paul Macarthy, regional officer of the GMB union, said: "This is really bad news for the workers who stand to lose their jobs.

"The government has said that manufacturing industry needs to be nurtured and there should now be talks with the administrator and the Business Department to see if something can be rescued."

But the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) said the firm's future was a matter for KPMG.

A spokesman said: "This is a worrying time for the company's employees but part of the role of the administrator is to seek to save the business."

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