More than 300 people have lost their jobs in the collapse of a 200-year-old pottery manufacturer.
Dudson, in Stoke-on-Trent, has been making tableware, glassware and fine china since 1800.
Representatives from the GMB union said staff were told to leave the premises “with no notice whatsoever” and called it a “devastating blow”.
Administrators PWC said it was “not commercially viable to continue trading the company”.
A total of 318 people have been made redundant with immediate effect.
In March, Wedgwood – another of the city’s potteries – announced plans to cut its workforce by about a third.
PWC blamed “a deterioration in sales and increased costs” for the failure of Dudson, which made a profit of £150,000 in 2017.
The company employs 390 people, and 72 members of staff “will be retained to support the closing down of the business,” a PWC spokesperson said.
The firm’s Nile Street factory shop will continue to trade while administrators value existing stock.
The Dudson brand and other intellectual property, as well as certain items of plant and machinery, have been sold to Churchill China, which is also based in Stoke-on-Trent.
Wendy Greiveson, from GMB, said the union would be pursuing a protective award for members as Dudson had “failed in the duty to consult” with staff or the union before it collapsed.
Labour MP for Stoke-on-Trent North & Kidsgrove, Ruth Smeeth, said the collapse was “heart-breaking” and the way workers had been treated was “disgraceful”.
“There’s no information and no support,” she said. “It’s completely unacceptable – you don’t treat people like that.”
Administrators said it would support staff – 384 of whom are based in Stoke-on-Trent – “at this difficult time”.
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