200 Wettenhalls drivers to keep jobs

THE jobs of truck drivers at a Laverton North transport company which went into voluntary administration last month could be safe.

As reported by the Weekly, Wettenhalls Group went into receivership on January 25, putting the jobs of more than 250 transport workers in doubt.

But receivers Ferrier Hodgson announced last week that the company, based in Dohertys Road, had been sold in a management buy-out.

Ferrier Hodgson partner Brendan Richards said the sale would save about 200 permanent jobs.

Wettenhalls employs 500 people at 14 sites across the company, including 100 truck drivers at its Laverton North site.

It is not known how many jobs will be saved at Laverton North.

“Within hours of our appointment we had spoken to every major player in the road transport sector to gauge their level of interest, and it is fair to say the interest was significant,” Mr Richards said.

“It was clear there was a future for this business if we could bring together the new management team with a restructure and a buyer within a short timeframe.”

The company’s express business has been closed and its Warrnambool site sold as part of the restructure.

Transport Workers Union senior organiser Chris Fennell said big retailers driving down the cost of supply was at the root of the company’s problems.

“Everyone’s always looking for a reduction, customers have seen what bigger companies are getting away with and are saying, ‘If you don’t do this, we’ll go elsewhere’.”

Assistant national secretary Michael Kaine said the TWU had contacted other transport companies to help workers who had lost their jobs find employment elsewhere.