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Hastie Group administration threatens to leave workers without pay

Workers at Australian building services giant told they are still working, just not getting paid

PPB Advisory, administrator of the Hastie Group, has courted controversy by telling 2700 of its 4000 workers across its subsidiaries that they would be ‘stood down’ without pay, rather than being been made redundant which would give them a range of severance rights, and crucially, allow them to find another job.

Australia’s Electrical Trades Union successfuly challenged the decision at the Watters Electrical subsidiary, with the result that 300 workers have now been given redundancy notices. Other unions across the country are challenging the PPB decision. Many of the workers were informed by text of the decision to stand them down without pay.

Ian Carson of PPB Advisory has disclosed that the scale of the debt at the group - at least A$500 million (£320 million) is likely to mean little return to

creditors. Mr Carson said: “I think there will be a substantial number of lenders who don’t get their money back. VVirtually every bank in Australia is involved.”

“We remain acutely aware of Hastie Group’s role on major construction projects and are assessing those urgently,” he said.

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