By Zac Street and produced for online by Ainsley O’Keefe.
Around 600 workers for national trucking company 1st Fleet will lose their jobs after the company was shut down overnight.
Employees now face a nervous wait to see if they will receive their full entitlements.
This morning the 1,000 1st Fleet employees who turned up for work at its headquarters in Sydney were locked out and told the business was no longer operating.
Speaking on ABC radio this morning, 1st Fleet’s managing director Stephen Brown says he is stunned at the swift action of administrators who were called in last week.
“I have never experienced it in my life,” he said.
“There is no chance to talk to the carriers, talk to the clients or pass equipment over, it is a ridiculous way to end something.”
The company, which operates in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia, was placed in the hands of administrators last Wednesday and has now been placed into liquidation.
Transport Workers Union secretary Peter Biagini says workers are very concerned.
“There is a lot of concerned people, where their pay was supposed to be in yesterday and they have mortgage payments coming out today, so the banks will be right onto them,” he said.
“We would still be hopeful that there is a possibility that another larger transport company may come in and pick up the pieces.”
Australian Trucking Association spokesman Bill McKinley says it is a sign of the times for transport companies.
“The 1st Fleet administration highlights the tough times that the trucking industry is experiencing across the board, except for businesses serving the minor sector, all trucking companies are under serious pressure,” he said.
“The industry is going through a shake up, where the old days of buying a truck as an owner driver, and making a good, but hard living out of it is coming to an end, simply because they can’t recover their freight rates.
“It is a tragic situation where people turn up to work and their jobs have just disappeared, and at the end of the day the administrators responsibility is to recover the money the company owes and to deal with the company in an orderly way.”