Bruck Textiles workers ‘left high and dry’ by buyout

A RETRENCHED Bruck Textiles worker of almost 40 years is furious he and his colleagues have been left with no entitlements after the company went into liquidation on Friday.

Charlie Sargent, 61, was sick on Friday when staff were notified, receiving a termination letter by a courier.

“People are extremely disappointed and are not sure what they are going to do,” Mr Sargent said.

“I was hoping to be there until I retired.”

Mr Sargent was among the 60 workers let go after the company was sold to Australian Textile Mills in a bid to offer the Wangaratta business long-term security for its remaining 120 workers.

Australian Textiles is to invest $8 million into the struggling factory.

Mr Sargent had been with the company for 37 years in various roles.

He believed the company selected workers with the most long service, so it did not have to pay out large redundancies.

Former Bruck chief executive officer Geoff Parker has taken the role of chief executive and said he was enthusiastic about the purchase and remained confident about the future of Victorian manufacturing.

But Mr Sargent said the sale raised many questions.

“This company miraculously appeared out of the clouds with $8 million,” he said.

Mr Sargent was also concerned about how much government money had been invested.

Late last year Bruck Textiles received $500,000 from the Victorian government to move its Tasmanian textile manufacturer, Australian Weaving Mills, to Wangaratta.

The company spent $4.5 million moving equipment from Devonport, while last month the factory received $1.97 million for new equipment.