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Developer and union help jobless joinery workers

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A Canberra developer and the construction union have stepped in to help workers left jobless by the collapse of Douglas Joinery.

Douglas Quality Joinery ceased trading this week after its administrator deemed it impossible to save.

The company is now set to be liquidated, leaving up to 40 workers without jobs, and many homeowners and businesses with half-finished work.

However, the Englobo Group, which is developing the Aurora Apartments in Kingston, said on Tuesday it would offer jobs to the 10 Douglas workers employed at its site, either as direct contractors or through other firms.

Englobo director Terry Shaw said the company would also support Douglas's subcontractors .


''We'll do what we can. It's only small, but it's something,'' he said.

''It will give them another four to five weeks' worth of wages and get them through to Christmas.''

The Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union said it would help find job for its members at the collapsed joinery and support their families over the holiday period.

However, only a small number of the company's workers are believed to be union members.

The union's ACT secretary, Dean Hall, said he met the owner and the receivers on Tuesday to try to secure his members' entitlements.

''The CMFEU will do what we can to support the workers and their families, and we’ll do everything we can to get our members jobs.''

Mr Hall said he sympathised with the other workers and their families, and the union was ready to offer them advice.

''It's a terrible time to lose your job. However, the best insurance policy they can have to protect their rights and entitlements would be to be members of the union.''

Accounting firm RSM Bird Cameron took control of the joinery late last week.

The administrator, Frank Lo Pilato, said delays and cost blow-outs within the company - relating to three large contracts at the Aurora Apartments, the Bellerive Apartments and Questacon - contributed to the collapse.

However, Douglas's failure was unrelated to any problems with those projects themselves.