Jobs under threat at Les Taylor firm

DOZENS of jobs could be lost as a Buchan engineering firm revealed it is suffering due to an “extreme downturn” in work.

Workers at Mintlaw-based Les Taylor contractors now face a tough time ahead after being issued with redundancy warnings recently.

Bosses have said that they need to lose a minimum of 20 jobs by the new year.

The firm is one of Buchan’s biggest employers and has a workforce of around 200 people, specialising in demolition, drainage, quarrying and civil engineering work.

Bosses said they have managed to survive a difficult two-year period without having to make any major staff losses, but that the workload had dipped in recent months. They said they would be working with staff representatives to keep redundancies as “low as possible”.

A spokesman for the firm said: “Due to the general downturn within the construction industry, the company deeply regrets that redundancies may be required at this time. We will be working closely with the staff representatives to find ways of keeping the number of redundancies as low as possible. We will do everything we can to support those employees affected, and all other employees in our business.”

A month-long consultation period between staff and managers is now said to be underway.

The company’s principal divisions are Les Taylor Contractors, J.G Fowlie, a demolition contractor, a quarry and skip hire company, Grampian Building Contractors, and Mintlaw Transport, a haulage and animal-feed storage business.

Central Buchan councillor Norman Smith told the Buchanie that the cutbacks were “extremely sad” to hear and that he hoped they would only affect a fraction of the division.

He said: “It is a sad thing that they are having to cut back the work force. It has not helped that we have been having adverse weather and the economic climate has not been kind to many.

“I hope that they manage to only cut back a little and if it is possible, try to salvage the rest, as that would be a bonus.

“The fact that the Aberdeen bypass has been held up has not helped matters as a lot of workers would have been relying on that, and they are having to cut back because of a lack of work.

“It is unfortunate that things are the way they are, but hopefully Les Taylor can pull through as they have a reputation as a great local employer, and then things can return back to normal.”

The news comes after it was revealed the family-run contractor firm John Gibbins, based at Crimond, had fallen into liquidation after struggling with a severe downturn in work in recent months. At its peak, the company employed more that 100 staff. The Les Taylor group has previously been involved in several major projects across the North-east, including the demolition of the St Peter Street flats in Peterhead, and the renovation of the old Caley warehouse.