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4 December, 2017 - 14:17 By Kate Sweeney

Mass redundancies after Palmer & Harvey collapses

East of England jobs have been lost after rescue talks failed to save UK wholesaler Palmer & Harvey.

Suppliers, stores and restaurants will also be hit by the company’s fall into administration. The firm has local outlets in Brandon Suffolk and Hemel Hempstead in Hertfordshire.

The company employs 3,400 people and provides alcohol, groceries and frozen food to 90,000 retail accounts. Joint administrators at PwC have laid off all but 450 of the staff at head office and across a 14-branch network.
The company has been brought down by a funding crisis and the collapse of talks with a potential buyer.

Mark Todd of trade union Usdaw said: “Usdaw is deeply concerned at the devastating news that Palmer & Harvey has gone into administration and that a significant number of redundancies have already been announced. 

“The union is seeking an urgent meeting with the administrators to clarify what is going on and the implications for Usdaw members. The announcement is a massive shock to our members and is an extremely distressing situation for all concerned, especially in the run up to Christmas. We will, of course, be doing everything possible to protect our members interests going forward.”

PwC confirmed that just 450 staff were being kept on to help wind the firm down to “an orderly closure.” It said November salaries had been paid.

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