Employees of the now-defunct photographic lighting firm Bowens were not paid for the month of July and were told they were bound by their contract to work without pay, according to employees of the company.

The explosive claim comes from an anonymous employee of the company who contacted PetaPixel, which first reported the news:

“26 of the most hard working members in the UK — a real Bowens family who supported each other, who have been loyal, worked so hard for their employers over and above their duties to pull the company forward — were in complete shock [on July 14th] to be informed that they will be unpaid for the previous month and will have to continue to work through a consultation process unpaid,” says a former UK employee who wishes to remain anonymous. “No one from Aurelius present.

“We were aware company facing problems and have all been working long days to pull the company through a hard time.”

PetaPixel goes on to say that when Bowens staff asked if they would be paid for the month of July, they were told they would not and that they must continue working because they were bound by their contract.

Bowens, a UK photographic lighting company which was bought by the investment company Aurelius, which is now liquidating it, in June 2016, announced its closure last month.

What’s more, Bowens manufacturing workers in China have also allegedly been told they will receive no wages, backing up the claims of the UK workforce.

PetaPixel also received a letter from the Chinese team:

Aurelius issued a statement in the wake of the news, which says:

As part of the decision to discontinue its operations Bowens consequently also decided to discontinue the manufacturing operations in China. therefore the formal liquidation process for the manufacturing legal entity Bowens Studio Lighting Co Ltd has been initiated and the employees have been informed about the decision. The liquidation process is handled according to all local laws and requirements and the employees will be informed in due course on next steps. The timing of the liquidation process is driven by necessary local formal filing procedures and will most probably happen in the course of the next couple months.

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