Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 23 October 2014

Sub-contractors 'owed thousands in unpaid bills'

Up to 30 sub-contractors are owed tens of thousands of pounds for unpaid work from failed haulage firm Reid Transport, it has been claimed.

Kevin Johnson, owner of haulage company K Johnson International, which provided lorries for the Cloughmill-based company, says his firm is owed up to £35,000 and has estimated that others could be owed up to £80,000 for the supply and distribution of goods.

He explained Reid Transport employed sub-contractors - or subbies as they are commonly known - such as his own, to drive their trailers to different destinations throughout Europe. They would be paid by the mile for deliveries which would be invoiced at the end of each month.

Mr Johnson estimated he was owed between £30,000 to £35,000, for last month and this month - all of which he has been told, he will not get back.

"Everyone is talking about the workers and how it will affect them but the company said it would be trying to sort out packages for them," he said.

" Us subbies are owed thousands of pounds for work. There are about 20 to 30 subbies who all average between one to six lorries. I am owed about £30,000-£35,000 for last month and this month but I know guys who have five or six lorries, you are talking about £70,000, £80,000 there."

Mr Johnson said he was fuming over the way Reid had handled the situation.

He said a friend told him Wednesday night that it had gone into administration and that he had been unable to get in contact with the Reid family.

"I am really angry about the fact they that did not even have the manners to tell us outright," he said. "If they had any gumption about them they would have been honest.

" I was in their office two weeks back and they assured me it was dead on but now it's finished.

"When I spoke to the administrators yesterday they said there was no money in the kitty. This has the potential to ruin a lot of subbies. Some guys are only small operators. How can any of us recoup what we are owed?"

Yesterday, Reid Transport was only allowing lorries which had been out on the road to come into the depot but were not allowing any vehicles to leave.

Some sub-contractors spent hours negotiating with administrators in the morning to secure their vehicles.

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