QMEB ยป Hundreds of staff let go before Christmas after contractor collapses
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Hundreds of staff let go before Christmas after contractor collapses

Baron Forge
Baron Forge

A national construction company has declared bankruptcy, leaving hundreds of people without work just a week before the Christmas break.

Dozens of employees arrived to start their shift at Baron Forge’s Brisbane head office and soon discovered they were locked out, jobless and unlikely to be paid for the unforeseeable future.

Finally, a representative from the company came outside and explained why non-management staff were not allowed inside.

‘No more money’

“A couple of fellows with suits just rocked up and pretty much were telling us that there is no more money or funding to pay us anymore,” former employee Norton Connolly told the Nine Network.

Parent company SWC Management confirmed it has appointed KordaMentha executive director Andrew Knight and partner Craig Shepard as voluntary administrators due to “low margin contracts and declining sales”.

“SWC recently invested in new state-of-the-art plant, implemented a new management team and initiated moves to turn the business around but the group could not raise the money to fully implement the plan,” Shepard said in a public statement.

Staff responded angrily to management’s big spending that contributed to the company’s collapse.

Big spending questioned

“I hope you are having a nice Christmas, your families and the boys are missing out,” former employee Rob Cocomero said.

“I have got two kids at home and a wife, so some sort of Christmas I can give them!” Connolly said.

However, the administrators defend the decision to terminate about 400 staff because they had “no alternative”.

“The timing before Christmas is extremely unfortunate,” Shepard said. “However, we are hopeful there is someone out there may be interested in restarting the business.”

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Creditors will be invited to a concurrent meeting held in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne on 31 December 2019. For more information contact KordaMentha by phoning 03 9908 8047 or emailing swc@kordamentha.com


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  • This sort of shit has been seen way too often companies come in cut costs lower overheads to gain work but in the Longrun when shit turns the hard times they fold and I’ve got no backing why does this government and these companies use people with instability funds when the workers pay time and time again it’s f–ing shameful . Un f–ing Australian.

  • SWC execs should be jailed for running this business into the ground and very likely trading while insolvent.

    How unbelievably incompetent can they be? I bet they’re not walking away empty handed.

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