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100 SA jobs lost in PSG collapse

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Union organisers are hoping to get Adelaide electricians axed by PSG Elecraft re-hired on the sites where they were working.

About 70 electricians and 30 administration staff in South Australia were among 600 workers across Australia who lost their jobs yesterday when the national electrical contractor – also known as Pacific Services Group – went into receivership.

Electrical Trades Union SA organiser Doug Buchanan told InDaily the news came as a shock to the staff, who were working on sites including the new Royal Adelaide Hospital, the Adelaide Convention Centre redevelopment, the Regency TAFE and the Tonsley Park infrastructure project.

“We had a meeting at 9 and just after that they closed it up,” he said.

“We are trying to tee up what happens with the outstanding contracts, so hopefully we can get the guys who were on the job back on the job.”

Buchanan said the workers could access their redundancy money, but would probably have to apply through the Fair Entitlements Guarantee for annual leave and RDO payments.

Secretary of the Victorian branch of the Electrical Trades Union Troy Gray has called on the Federal Government to step in to head off a 40-week wait for entitlements.

“These entitlements are what would be used to put food on the table for the families of these workers,” he told AAP.

“This is not just one or two workers. This is 600 across Australia. [The federal government] should intervene and make sure they get these entitlements in the next six weeks or so.”

The biggest number of job losses was in Victoria, where about 200 were axed. About 180 jobs were lost in Tasmania, where some workers were employed on the National Broadband rollout.

Gray said Victorian employees were told there had been “poor management at an upper level in PSG” and “some bad decisions made on major projects in Queensland”, which racked up debts of $10 million.

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