STAFF in a US branch office of Edinburgh architecture firm RMJM have been told that they have to turn up to work – despite not having received any wages for two and a half months.
An e-mail circulated to the workers in the company’s New York office, and seen by architectural publication BD Magazine, sought to address problems caused by some staff refusing to go into work until they get paid.
The company, which previously employed former Royal Bank of Scotland chief executive Fred Goodwin as an advisor, has been blighted by cash-flow problems for more than a year – and staff at various offices around the world have claimed that their salaries have not been paid.
It is believed that last month, more than 25 staff failed to turn up for work one day in an organised protest at missing wages.
“It is vital that we try our very best to convince our employees that if nobody is working anymore, it will just lead to a more difficult situation,” said the e-mail, written by Jean Warren, the firm’s North America human resources manager.
“The business in essence is only existing through our employees and we need to build this up now for our future work and collections.”
The e-mail added that staff not coming into work – and who are not sick or on holiday – should not be paid at all.
Senior managers are told they should report employees not turning up or asking for unpaid leave to human resources.
Staff, who also claim that their health insurance and payments into a US retirement plan called 401k have also stopped, were told that missing salaries would be paid at the beginning of January which was then put back to the middle of last month.
It is believed that staff have now been told payments will be made at the end of this week.