National trucking firm 1st Fleet has ceased trading late on Wednesday night, when administrators deVries Tayeh shut down the business and locked out staff around the country. But, help is already underway, according to the Transport Workers Union.
On Anzac Day, 1st Fleet was placed in the hands of chartered accountant practice deVries Tayeh to address what seemed to be a cash flow problem, but only a week later, the company stopped operating after directors were unable to meet pre-arranged funding commitments.
The sudden move came as a shock to the employees in NSW, Queensland, Victoria and South Australia, as administrators had first seemed optimistic that the company would be able to continue trading. “It's nowheresville mate, it's closed,” 1st Fleet's Managing Director, Stephen Brown, told ABC radio. “I have no idea (why), I have never experienced anything like it in my life.”
Administrators said the outcome is regrettable, but they are working closely with the Transport Workers Union to help 1st Fleet's workforce find other employment. The Federal Government has also promised to help dismissed workers find new jobs.
According to Sky News, rival trucking firms have already offered 1st Fleet staff new jobs, with recruiters milling at the locked gates.