07/09/2004 - 22:00

Wavemaster staff wait it out

07/09/2004 - 22:00

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Wavemaster staff wait it out

As further writs are lodged against ship builder Wavemaster International, reports are again emerging that the company’s staff are not being paid.

An employee of the ship builder told WA Business News that he and others were owed up to five weeks’ back pay.

“The money has been coming in dribs and drabs but over all we’re owed about five weeks’ pay,” he said.

Australian Manufacturing Workers Union secretary Jock Ferguson said if staff were owed so much in back pay then there was concern about the security of their entitlements, such as long service and annual leave.

On August 13, Marine and Mobile Windows and Akzo Nobel lodged writs seeking $23,915 and $2,515.86 respectively.

The company was also ordered by the Magistrate’s Court to pay $5,258.53 to Crushing and Mining Equipment.

Wavemaster general manager Malcolm Swaddle acknowledged staff were owed some back pay but said the bulk of those problems would be sorted out this week.

“We have some money coming today [September 6] and some more tomorrow that will go a long way towards clearing that back pay,” he said.

Mr Swaddle said Wavemaster’s owner, Penang Shipbuilding Company, was guaranteeing the employees’ entitlements.

The company has cleared some of its debts, settling claims from Alert Taggin Systems, Outwest Productions, Sika Australia and Hankar Nominees.

Mr Swaddle said Wavemaster had found a buyer, which he would only describe as “European interests”, for the ferry that caused the bulk of the company’s debts.

He said that sale would clear a lot of the company’s debts.  Mr Swaddle said Wavemaster was due to start work on a $6 million fast ferry for Danish company Christonsoefarten next week and was on the verge of securing another contract of similar size.

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