MJ Gleeson to go into hibernation, PC Harrington workers face 15% pay cut

Chris Holt, the new chief executive of MJ Gleeson has said the company will effectively go into hibernation in 2009 and wait until the markets improve.

He said: ‘There will be very little activity in 2009 and where it makes commercial sense we will mothball sites. We hope to see the green shoots of recovery in early 2010.’

Holt was speaking just three days after replacing Paul Wallwork as head of the housing and regeneration firm. Wallwork resigned last week after the company slashed its workforce to 50 from 224. Gleeson had previously cut 400 jobs in 2008, bringing the total number of losses to 574 over the year, reports Building magazine.

It’s also bad news for workers at concrete frame specialist PC Harrington, who have each received a letter announcing a 15% wage cut from January.

The firm said it would cut salaries from £10 to £8.50 an hour in the face of ‘stiff competition’ and ‘in difficult conditions’ and to avoid future redundancies. The move has outraged workers and union officials, reports Contract Journal. One angry worker said: ‘I’ve been there years and resent this treatment. They talked about redundancies a few weeks ago and now have come up with this pay cut. They think we’re grateful still to have a job and will put up with everything.’

Finally, training body ConstructionSkills said 610 apprentices from its 11,000-strong programme have been axed since July.

ConstructionSkills set up a ‘clearing house’ in September to match up redundant apprentices with new placements, but of the 610 affected only 123 have found work, its said.