PriceWaterhouseCoopers blamed for text message sackings
Date: 30 May 2003
2500 people have been laid off from the UK's largest personal injury claims company, Accident Group, many of them being informed that they would not be paid by text message.
The chairman of the company expressed his dismay at how the move had been handled by administrators PricewaterhouseCoopers, and said that although 'the buck stops with me' he had no control over how redundancies had been announced.
Text messages were sent with details of a recorded message which told staff that if they had not already received a letter they were to consider themselves redundant. The message also said that they would not be paid for May.
Angry staff gathered at the company's Manchester offices, and some newspapers reported that there had been some looting of computer equipment and other property.
The move was taken as the parent company, Amulet Group, failed. The group was run by Mark Langford who achieved a profile last year when he helped to raise £6m for the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.
Various bodies lost no time in lining up to criticise the company's text-sackings. Brendan Barber, general secretary of the Trades Union Congress said that such matters should always be dealt with 'face-to-face'.
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In a recent article, the BBC's economics editor Robert Peston highlighted the fact that in 2012 the chances are that the economy - punch drunk as it is from the various flavours of debt crisis it has been pummelled with over the course of the year - will be hit by the collapse of a major bank and / or government.
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