Big job losses at Bullet Freight

RICHARD MEADOWS
Last updated 17:33 09/07/2014

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As many as 200 Bullet Freight Systems workers have lost their jobs, after receivers failed to find a quick buyer for the company over the weekend.

The nationwide logistics firm was placed into receivership on Friday by director Paul Elliott, who could not immediately be reached for comment.

Receivers PPB Advisory tried to arrange a quick sale over the weekend, but no willing buyer could be found for the whole group which has depots in Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington, Nelson, Blenheim, Christchurch and Dunedin.

New Zealand managing partner David Webb said in a statement PPB had been forced to notify "the majority of employees" that their jobs were gone.

"It's not a decision that's been taken lightly, and all employment wages... were paid up until 5pm yesterday afternoon," he said.

A spokesman for PPB could not confirm the exact number of job losses.

First Union represents 34 workers at the company's East Tamaki site estimated up to 200 jobs had been lost across the company's depots.

First Union organiser Rudd Hughes attended meetings on Friday and yesterday.

"First Union is very concerned at the situation, especially since these were not high-paying jobs and most of these workers are living payday to payday," Hughes said.

The union understood most individual agreements had no redundancy-pay provision.

A collective agreement had not yet been negotiated, as union members had only recently joined.

Hughes said the union was hopeful most of the drivers could find other work, with a shortage of drivers in the Auckland area.

"We will also do what we can to identify job opportunities for warehouse and logistics staff employed by Bullet Freight," he said.

Bullet Freight Systems' main shareholder is Time Capital NZ Nominees, of which Elliott is a director.

A smaller block of shares is held by Owen and Janette Ferguson.

Related companies Strait Freight and Strait Linehaul, part of the same logistics group, have also been placed into receivership.

The receiver's first report is due in September.

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