Rivers to close and slash jobs in Ballarat

More than 100 employees are expectedto lose their jobs aspart of major restructuringfor Rivers in Ballarat.
Nanjing Night Net

The change was announced by Rivers owner Specialty Fashion Group on Thursday morning.

Thedecision to close theleased warehouse space in Ballarat will impact on theemployment for 90 full time and 40 casual team members in the city.

The group’s chief executiveGary Perlsteinsaid it had been decided that Sydney was a better location to servicethe company’s warehouse needs.

A statement released by the company said thewarehouse in Ballarat wasinefficient and not adequate for the future needs of the business.

“The turnaround of Rivers is a priority that requires some tough decisions about how we do business in the future,” Mr Perlstein said.

“The exit from leased warehouse space in Ballarat was a decision that was not made lightly or quickly.”

Speaking to The Courier, Mr Perlstein said the employees had taken the newswell with many expecting it for some time.

“(There was a)real sense of disappointment, many of them have been there a long time,” he said.“It was a very sombre mood, but is was very professionally handled by the staffas well.”

“They handled themselves amazing well for the news they received.”

Mr Perlstein said the company was facing tough economic conditions and the rent at the warehouse had become too high to be sustainable.

He also said it was not yet known when the job cuts would take place as the final date was still being negotiated.

Both Wendouree MP Sharon Knight and Buninyong MPGeoff Howard said the news was terrible.

Mr Howard said Rivers had struggled with business for some time, however, the state government had already put support in place for employees through a Workers in Transition program.

“I thinkit is really unfortunate these jobs will be lost in Ballarat,” he said.

“The state government will have a process in place we will be working on with the staff to understand what is happening post their employment (at Rivers).”

Ms Knight said it was important the community rallied around the employees and provided them with support

“This is terrible news for the people who have found out they will lose their jobs and for their families.”

“I’ve spoken with the relevant regional director in the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources.

“The Victorian government will provide assistance to workers at Rivers who will lose their job.”

Ballarat Trade Union secretary Brett Edgington expressed his disappointment at the decision.

“It comes at a very unfortunate time where future job prospectsare bleak for the people losing their jobs,”MrEdgingtonsaid”It’s a very tough time to be trying to secure a job.”

MrEdgingtonsaid times were desperate in Ballarat with a youth unemployment rate in the city of 6.86 per cent, a figure he believed was actually much higher.

He said the union were assisting staff affected to connect with Centrelink support services.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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