Crane Trucks R Us headed for administration


Workers in Townsville and Rockhampton left without entitlements

Crane Trucks R Us headed for administration
Crane Trucks R Us managing director Fred Mohammed

 

Brisbane-based equipment hire business Crane Trucks R Us is likely to go into voluntary administration next week, managing director Fred Mohammed has revealed.

The company is currently working with its major financiers to choose a suitable administrator, he says.

The move follows allegations around 12 employees in Townsville and Rockhampton had been made redundant with significant entitlements still owed.

Transport Workers Union (TWU) North Queensland official Tom Pfund says the company has ceased operations in the region, but still holds at least one lucrative contract in Sydney.

In the most extreme example alledges one worker was paid just $21 in superannuation over 11 months with the company.

"The business is still operating – the workers have earned their entitlements, and they should be paid," he tells ATN.

Mohammed says the financial issues were instigated by the unexpected loss of a major contract with concrete and aggregate supplier Holcim. He believes the break in contract was "illegal" and says Holcim still owes around $1.5 million for work already completed.

Crane Trucks R Us invested in around $6.5 million worth of equipment as part of the Holcim deal, he adds.

Mohammed agrees that not all worker entitlements have been paid. But he stresses these will be protected by government initiatives, including the general employee entitlements and redundancy scheme. That scheme will kick in if the administration results in bankruptcy or liquidation.

The TWU says the company is still operating a contract with OneSteel in Brisbane, and also working with construction giant Thiess in Sydney.

"The fact the company is still doing business interstate means they have the money to pay these workers what they owe them regardless of any excuse or technicality they may use to get out of it," Pfund says. "We’re hoping common sense will prevail."

Mohammed and Crane Trucks R Us won industry applause last year, given the Young Achiever commendation at the Australian Freight Industry Awards.

 

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