On June 20, 20 workers, members of the Textiles Clothing and Footwear Union Australia (TCFUA), made their way from Melbourne Town Hall to a boutique called Scanlan and Theodore. The workers were employees of a company called Blossom Road, which made products for the high-end fashion label.
They were protesting because all Blossom Road’s 27 employees were suddenly and unjustly sacked on May 19, without explanation and without being paid entitlements, and the company was liquidated. The very next day the company re-opened under a different name and owned by the previous boss Bill Jadilebovski’s son.
The factory is still located at the same address in Melbourne’s northern suburbs, makes the same products for its consumers and has the same managers.
Blossom Road has refused to pay the workers their employee entitlements, including annual and long service leave, redundancy pay, unpaid wages and employer and employee super contributions. In total the workers have lost $519,680.78, which Jadilebovski claims he is unable to pay.
After closing down the original company and setting up under a new name, Blossom Road’s previous director (now managing the new company) even tried to get some of the previous workers to return to work for the rebadged company. The unpaid entitlements were not part of the offer.
TCFUA state secretary Michele O’Neil said “this new company looks like it is being run by the sole director of Blossom Road and members of his family. This appears to be a case of phoenix trading and that’s why we will be taking our concerns straight to the retail outlet Scanlan and Theodore at lunchtime today.”
Mara Sipizoiska, a machinist, lost all her money after being sacked by Blossom Road despite working for the company for more than 21 years and said that she was “very sad”.
The workers said that Scanlan and Theodore have moral obligations to the workers and ignored the problems that the employees had for a number of years. They said that every time a problem has arisen, Scanlan and Theodore distance themselves from Blossom Road.
O’Neil said: “The high end fashion label Scanlan and Theodore must come forward and demonstrate that they will not tolerate the low-end ethics of their supplier.”
To support the workers, send an email to Scanlan and Theodore at email@example.com, asking them to ensure that the workers immediately receive the money Blossom Road owes them.