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Vic Hastie electrical workers lose jobs: 340 given the axe
30/05/2012 - More than 300 Victorian electrical workers from the Hastie Group have lost their jobs.
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A total of 340 Watters Electrical staff, including 40 apprentices, will be looking for work after administrators agreed to terminate them on Tuesday.
The staff were stood down on Monday, effectively being told they would get no work and no money but were still employed, after Hastie Group went into administration.
The Electrical Trades Union (ETU) Victorian branch met on Tuesday with the administrator PPB Advisory and negotiated for termination notices for all 340 workers.
ETU Victorian secretary Dean Mighell said he hoped the workers would have their termination notices by Friday.
"These workers are redundant ... The company has taken them off the payroll, they effectively sacked them," he told reporters after a mass meeting of workers in Melbourne on Tuesday.
"What the company wasn't doing is actually giving them notice so they could move on with their lives.
"Now, they'll be able to move on, they'll be able to get access to their redundancy funds, they'll be able to apply to CES (Centrelink) for assistance," Mighell said.
Mighell said a myth had been put around by the administrators that workers could choose to stay and look for work.
"Let it be clear: there is no work here," Mighell said.
The 2,700 people who work for Hastie Group's mechanical, electrical and plumbing businesses in Australia were stood down on Monday when the 44 Australian entities of the loss-making company were placed in administration as Hastie collapsed owing about $500 million.
PPB Advisory chairman Ian Carson said that for the past 28 hours, the administrator's focus had been to get employees back to work.
"It is becoming clear that in some cases that may not be possible," Carson said in a statement.
"We have had requests that some employees want more immediate access to termination and we are providing that."
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