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Fitters protest at MFI

PUBLISHED: 09:45 02 December 2008 | UPDATED: 21:55 05 July 2010

Local contract fitters for furniture retailer MFI yesterday held a protest outside the firm's Norwich store amid claims the company has failed to pay them for six weeks.

Local contract fitters for furniture retailer MFI yesterday held a protest outside the firm's Norwich store amid claims the company has failed to pay them for six weeks.

Around 40 Norfolk-based fitters for the firm, which was last week placed into administration, claim thousands of pounds is owed for labour and parts.

Yesterday several gathered outside the firm's Norwich store to try and highlight their case.

Letters of assurance from the managing director were sent to the workers asking them to be patient, but since the company went into administration, the fitters have heard nothing.

Gary Harmer, 44, a bathroom fitter from Oulton Broad, said he is owed £9,000 by the firm.

“I have worked for them for six years,” he said. “I haven't been paid since the end of October and carried on working because we kept getting letters saying bear with us, we would get paid.

“Now they've gone into administration we've heard nothing.”

The Cromer branch in Holt Road closed about four weeks ago and now the others, in Barker Street, Norwich and in Gapton Hall Road in Yarmouth are selling off their last lot of stock and are due to close shortly.

Store bosses closed the store for part of the day and police also attended to monitor the situation.

Andy Smith, 46, who has worked for the Norwich and Cromer MFI branches for 13 years said he is worried he will now lose his house.

“The last time I was paid was August and that's when work started to dry out,” he said. “I've started doing other jobs but am owed £2,500 by them and I'm running a huge overdraft.”

No one at MFI or its administrators Kroll was available to comment.

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