Hundreds of workers at Schlegel Automotive Europe in Coalville, Leicestershire, were left devastated by an announcement on 4 October, that the company had gone into administration, key UK auto workers union Unite said.

The sealing specialist employs 334 highly skilled workers, of which 218 are now at risk of being made redundant. Due to the nature of shift work, many of the workers were informed last night with the remainder being informed today (5 October). The remaining workers, not selected for redundancy, will be kept on until existing contracts have been honoured.

Union said it had been working closely with the local management team since Schlegel was purchased by the RUIA Group in 2008. However, it only became clear earlier this year that the group had no intentions of committing the resources and support it promised.

Unite believes these job losses are the direct result of the loss of a large Nissan contract and “the total failure by the RUIA Group to honour the commitments it made when it purchased Schlegel”.

Working closely with the administrators, Springfield’s Business Recovery based in Leicester, Unite will try and secure a buyer for the remaining business and ensure that those who have lost their jobs get the best redundancy entitlement.

Unite national officer, Tony Murphy, said: “Hundreds of loyal workers have been left utterly devastated by the news that Schlegel has gone into administration. Our main priority now is to save as many jobs as possible and ensure those who lose their job receive the best redundancy package available.

“We are committed to ensuring that any prospective buyer will work closely with Unite and local management to secure a positive and sustainable manufacturing business in Coalville.”