IT will be a difficult month for workers at Watters Electrical in Albury who have been stood down, while an administrator examines the prospects of parent company Hastie Group.
Hastie’s 44 Australian entities, including Watters, have been placed in administration with the company owing about $500 million.
The administrator has blamed difficult economic conditions, as well as $20 million in irregularities in the group’s accounts.
Watters’ Albury staff are among 2700 Hastie employees who have been stood down for 28 days without pay.
The administrator is hopeful most will get back to work with potential buyers being sought for some of the businesses within the Hastie Group.
While it is good news that it is still uncertain as to whether the workers have lost their jobs, there is the issue of them being unable to seek assistance such as Centrelink payments until a decision is made.
There is also concern about the extent of the debt owed to creditors by Hastie Group companies.
It is imperative that the Electrical Trades Union make an application to Fair Work Australia to have the stand down reversed.