Workers made redundant last week by Illawarra-based business Southern Engineering Services may not receive redundancy payments until Christmas 2015, according to the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU).
The ABC reports that, according to the union which represents the sacked workers, they were not covered by enterprise agreements and will be treated as creditors by administrators who are looking for a buyer for the company.
Union organiser Daniel White told the ABC that there is a backlog in the federal government's Fair Entitlements Guarantee scheme, which covers workers in this position.
"We've been told by the people who have tried to access that up at Newcastle that the government has come back there in that case and said 'you can out the paperwork in but the process because it's such a backlog, you probably won't see a payment until next Christmas'," said Mr White.
As reported by The Illawarra Mercury, 120 workers from the company’s Unanderra operation were told of their redundancies over the phone. The news came two weeks after the company went into voluntary administration.
The company has operated in Wollongong since 1950. It operates within the mining, chemical, manufacturing, construction, water treatment, power generation and general engineering industries.