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Sacked via email

Tuesday, 13th January, 2015

Sacked via email Sacked via email

By Andrew Robertson

A former employee of Macquarie Drilling who was sacked via email has been left “distressed” and thousands of dollars out of pocket following the company’s collapse.

Macquarie, which operates drilling services in five states and has a base on Kanandah Road, and two sister companies went into voluntary administration on December 29.

The husband of a former local employee told the BDT yesterday staff were notified on the same day via internal emails that they no longer had jobs.  

But he said a number of employees, including his wife, were not at work at the time and had to learn the disturbing news from work colleagues.

 “Employees who were on leave at the time were not otherwise notified by any other form of communication by Macquarie Drilling management, in fact they had to hear the information from other employees of the company who had got the information second hand,” the man, who did not want to be named, said in an email to the BDT.

He also said Macquarie went into administration the day before employees were paid and still owed staff their final wages, along with annual and long service leave, reimbursements and redundancy pay.

A check of his wife’s superannuation account also revealed she had not received any contributions for the last 12 months. 

“In today’s day and age, how on earth can a company get away with not paying workers superannuation entitlements for as long as Macquarie Drilling has?”

The man, whose wife had worked for Macquarie for eight years, told the BDT that local employees had no inkling of what owner Michael Petrozzi was planning.

“There was no communication with staff.”  

He said he decided to speak out following comments by a spokesman for administrators Deloitte, who told the BDT that despite the changes it was “business as usual” for Macquarie.  

“The fact that workers are redundant and have not been paid out their entitlements and 12 months worth of superannuation contributions couldn’t be any further from business as usual and having no impact.”

He also said Deloitte’s request that former employees not talk to the media, but instead to redirect enquiries to Deloitte, “couldn’t be more insulting”.

“Obviously eight years working for the company means absolutely nothing to Macquarie Drilling management. 

“My wife, as you could imagine is quite distressed about this whole incident and appears to be showing signs of depression and anxiety as a result of losing her job and more importantly all of her unpaid wages and entitlements.

“I am certainly trying my best to help her through this difficult time, especially considering the timing of the Christmas holiday period.”

Deloitte has since licensed Macquarie to another company controlled by Mr Petrozzi.

Administrator Neil Cussen said this was done so as to “preserve the business during the administration period to enable a possible restructure or sale”.

He said without the licence agreement Macquarie would have ceased to trade some weeks ago, with the loss of around 120 employees across the country.

“Jobs for around 80 people, including approximately 15 in Broken Hill, have been retained in the medium term while we consider a range of options, including restructuring and the full or part sale of the business. If this can be achieved, we would hope that jobs will be retained.”

He said with insufficient cash to continue to trade all of Macquarie’s employees were terminated soon after the appointment of Deloitte.

Mr Petrozzi, through his other company, then chose which former employees he wanted to take on under the licence agreement, Mr Cussen explained.

“I appreciate this is a difficult time for affected employees, and particularly those who have lost their jobs.

“But the arrangement we have in place has provided continuity of service for clients of the business and ongoing work for a significant number of people.

“This is a good outcome in difficult circumstances.”

It’s understood Macquarie also owes thousands of dollars to a number of local businesses. 

At an initial creditors meeting held on Friday administrators outlined their role and initial findings regarding the company’s position.

A second meeting will to take place before February 10, when creditors may determine whether or not the company will be wound up or is to enter into a Deed of Arrangement.

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