ICSM Print Industry News: Print Week readers round on PFI boss over unpaid wages and debts with talk of

ICSM Print Industry News: Print Week readers round on PFI boss over unpaid wages and debts with talk of 'fraud'

By Harry Mottram: It’s a story that only gets worse as the details emerge of the growing problems of the PFI Group and in particular its CEO Darren McMurray.

The group have now closed a sign-maker in Kelso in Scotland by locking the staff out and changing the locks – this after shutting down Gardners NW Ltd in Wales, and Mardan Products in August. There has also been the small matter of being called a liar by the administrators and of a loss of £1.96m in the latest figures published by Print Week.

And the trade publication’s readers haven’t held back on their criticism of McMurray who rounded on his handling of the collapsing firms which have included not paying staff their wages and suppliers before the abrupt closures. One unnamed worker in the Kelso business commented: “Darren should be embarrassed with the way he treats staff and runs his businesses, complete lack of morals. Not only have wages not been paid for 4-5 weeks but pensions that have been deducted from wages for 12 months still remain unpaid to our pension provider. Locks changed on factory and no information about what is happening.”

Ian Carrotte of ICSM said it was ‘unacceptable’ to withhold wages and pension contributions for staff who will have effectively been working for nothing. He said: “Print Week’s coverage of the PFI Group – the trading name of Rymack Sign Solutions – is exceptional journalism as it has helped to expose the unacceptable side of business. At ICSM we always say to firms that are struggling it is better to come clean with staff and suppliers and explain the situation. Honesty is usually rewarded by allowing a company to trade its  way out of trouble having been cut some slack.”

Others have charged the firm with fraud due to the non-payment of pension contributions, and said Darren McMurray should be ashamed of himself as the situation was “driving working people into poverty at a time of year that should be about joy and enjoying time with family.”

And another has raised the viability of the PFI Group long term: “In reviewing the trajectory of some of his companies, it raises considerations about the longevity of PFI as a prominent entity in the business landscape.”

The PFI Sign Solutions Group is the trading name of Rymack Sign Solutions founded in 2006 and based at the Orion Trading Estate in Manchester. The wide format print and signage firm has worked for the NHS, Shell, the police and Network Rail. They describe themselves as ‘one of the leading sign solutions businesses in the UK,’ with: ‘The technology, skills, and resources across our brands allow us to deliver any level of signage service.’



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