Thousands of truck drivers, machinery operators and boiler makers have lost work after mining services provider Bluestone Global went into administration.
About 3,500 contract workers and 180 full-time staff have been retrenched from Bluestone and its subsidiaries.
The majority of Bluestone’s subsidiaries, including labour hire firm ResCo, went into liquidation while the parent company went into voluntary administration on Monday.
ResCo was a major provider of mining services in the NSW Hunter Valley, and liquidator KordaMentha is working to redeploy the workers.
KordaMentha says about 80 ResCo staff are expected to be placed in new jobs and about 220 ResCo truck drivers and trainees will be transferred to labour hire company Skilled Engineering on Wednesday.
A further 35 light vehicle tradespeople will either move to Skilled Engineering or WorkPac.
“This means that over 95 per cent of the (ResCo) on-hire labour force in the Hunter Valley will be in employment from tomorrow or the next rostered shift, on the same site as previously deployed,” a statement from KordaMentha on Tuesday afternoon said.
KordaMentha’s joint liquidator and administrator Craig Shepard says the priority is to redeploy every worker involved.
“We are also optimistic that a good proportion of supervisory and office staff will also find new roles,” he said.
KordaMentha is also arranging the payment of all employees’ entitlements, including unpaid wages and statutory severance entitlements.
The company is yet to disclose how much Bluestone owes in unpaid wages and employee entitlements.
The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU) says it’s yet to receive those details but it’s confident all wages and entitlements will be paid.
Bluestone issued a statement on Tuesday saying it was “unsuccessful in securing the necessary shareholder support to repair its balance sheet” and has been left with no option but to go into administration.
The ASX-listed company had been seeking merger opportunities to improve its profitability as well as additional investor funds to repair its balance sheet since May.
However, Bluestone says these efforts failed and the board had no choice but to appoint administrators.
The company has headquarters in Melbourne but the core of its workforce is based in the Hunter Valley. Other sites include Adelaide, Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Ballarat, Cairns and Darwin.