Left in dark, 1st Fleet workers search for answers


1st Fleet workers say they’ve been left out of the loop and are owed significant amounts of money

Left in dark, 1st Fleet workers search for answers
Left in dark, 1st Fleet workers search for answers

'It's appalling': Jason Iles and Lisa Faasoo join others outside 1st Fleet's Melbourne depot after the company closed its doors.

Ruza Zivkusic-Aftasi | May 3, 2012

It was a chilly, rainy morning when 1st Fleet workers found themselves locked out from the company’s Sunshine depot in Melbourne’s west earlier today.

Hundreds of employees are now without a job, and many were emotional when ATN spoke to them at the site.

Up to 50 employees stood outside the gates, waiting for answers as the company ceased trading shortly before midnight yesterday to due to a lack of funding.

Many say the news came as no surprise, as they sensed the company had been in financial troubles for a long time.

Jim, 69, who did not want his last name published, says pay had been delayed for over a month and the company owes him five weeks’ wage.

"I don’t think I’ll get my money back now," he says.

"The point is, there are many chiefs and not enough Indians to run this company – we never had any problems before but all of a sudden it changed and there was no order amongst the management."

Jason Iles, 49, who has been with the company for 16 years, says despite rumours about the company performing poorly he did not expect it to shut down so suddenly.

"We know nothing," Iles says.

"All we know is that it has been terminated and that there is a meeting in Sydney apparently on Monday with the administrators and the company.

"I don’t think it’s the right way to do it. We were told it would be a few weeks before anything was decided."

Lisa Faasoo, 36, has two kids and a mortgage and after working for the company for 20 years she is uncertain whether she will find a new job easily.

"It’s appalling the fact that they told us nothing and just shut the doors," she says.

"We knew there was trouble but we thought the company was going for another six to eight weeks. I am now owed a week and three days of pay."

Administrator deVries Tayeh shut the company last night. 1st Fleet has operations in Victoria, NSW, Queensland and South Australia.




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