Iconic removalists WridgWays Australia has been placed into voluntary administration, leaving staff and contractors facing an uncertain future.
In response to a damning story by A Current Affair, WridgWays Australia CEO Kobus Fourie released a statement today confirming the news, adding that the majority of employees were stood down.
“We are saddened by this turn of events, and will support our people as best as possible through this time,” said Fourie.
“WridgWays has a long history of supporting the Australian consumer with relocating, and we remain committed to completing any in progress consumer deliveries, and will work to ensure all customers receive their belongings.
“As with many other iconic Australian businesses, WridgWays has been significantly impacted by Covid-19, particularly some substantial non-payments by international removalists.
“This has resulted in difficulties within the WridgWays supply chain with some customers experiencing delays in fulfilling their delivery.”
The writing had been on the wall since February for WridgWays when two of its subsidiaries were liquidated, then late last month freight provider Pacific National lodged a winding up application in a bid to recover a debt.
At the time, WridgWays countered with a statement that said it was in the latter stages of a bid to sell the business, with more details to be revealed in coming days.
“While there has been some local acquisition of assets we have been unable to secure a strong long-term solution for the business, and have entered into voluntary administration,” added Fourie.
A Current Affair spoke with two driver contractors who said they were short-changed, including Sydney grandfather Shane Dowsett who had worked for WridgWays for 30 years.
He claimed he was chasing the company for a $62,500 debt.
“I’ve been there nearly half my life and this was money I was hoping to eventually retire with,” Dowsett said.
Western Australian sub-contractor Grant Milentis said the company owed him more than $200,000.
On its website, Melbourne-based WridgWays boasts of being in operation since 1892, providing local, interstate, and international removalist services.