Paul Smith, Jeff Lejeune, Lee Geddes, Riki Haswell, Dools Carson and Michael Wyatt. Photo: Cordell Richardson
Paul Smith, Jeff Lejeune, Lee Geddes, Riki Haswell, Dools Carson and Michael Wyatt. Photo: Cordell Richardson

Workers say business used as ‘cash cow’ as 70 jobs gone

A TIGHT-KNIT workforce will go their separate ways with employees from a 54-year-old earth moving business all out of work.

About 20 workers finished up with Bachmann Plant Hire yesterday, with about 70 people overall let go in dribs and drabs over the past three weeks.

There is anger and frustration with workers believing the business was used as a "cash cow" after the long-running family business was sold three years ago.

The business was put into administration in September after insolvency firm Jirsch Sutherland was appointed to parent company MRS Services Group.

Workers are not expected to receive their entitlements until February or March when assets are sold off, unless they are paid earlier through the Fair Entitlements Guarantee.

Michael Wyatt worked for the business for 21 years and lamented the direction it went in after it was acquired by MRS in 2016 for $13.4 million.

The business was started by Lloyd Bachmann in 1965 and later taken over his son Greg.

He said a majority of former employees had picked up work elsewhere but for those who hadn't, it wouldn't be until the new year when employers in the field would start hiring again.

"We're gutted," he said.

"The worst thing is the Bachmann name, which is a very good name, got dragged through the mud.

"Every meeting we had in the yard (since administration) who used to turn up? Our old boss Greg Bachmann."

Long-time employee Jeff Lejeune said MRS ran the business into the ground.

"They used it as a giant cash cow," he said.

"They never poured anything back into the machines.

"We couldn't even buy toilet paper at one stage for the workshop.

"There's a lot of anger and frustration at what MRS has done to this company. They wiped their feet on us and walked away.

"No other company did it as well as we did. You can ask any other company.

"I spoke to Greg a couple of weeks ago and he said it still keeps him awake at night knowing what we're going through."

A large number of former Bachmann workers gathered for a drink at the Raceview Tavern last night.

"They're sort of like family," Mr Lejeune.



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