Mackay staff sacked by text as retailer collapses
THE staff members of Mackay's Riot Art & Craft store have been sacked via a text message.
Angry staff members told Nine News they received a text on Monday afternoon advising that they had lost their jobs.
"All stores are closed as of today. You are not required to be at work tomorrow," Riot Art & Craft director Michael Kurc wrote in the text message to staff, as reported by Nine News.
Just a few weeks prior to the Mackay store's shock closure, the shelves had been looking visibly emptier.
But staff told the Daily Mercury this was because the retailer was changing their supplier and that stock levels would soon return to normal.
Liquidator Nicholas Giasoumi, of Dye & Co, said the chain's 57 stores around the country, including the one in Mackay and 10 others in Queensland, were now shut permanently with 140 staff terminated.
Employees were estimated to be owed about $3.5 million in wages and entitlements, Mr Giasoumi told Nine News.
He said COVID-19 would have impacted the family-owned chain's financial position but it was too early to say if that was the sole reason for the collapse.
The staff who were terminated have been informed of their rights to make a claim under the Fair Entitlements Guarantee (FEG).
Mr Giasoumi said the business still had an online presence but all physical stores were shut.
Company director Michael Kurc said that after 46 years in business "it's been very traumatic closing doors and beyond that it's out of my hands, it's with the liquidator."
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