Kerre McIvor

Kerre McIvor is a Herald on Sunday columnist

Kerre McIvor: Contrast in firms' ethics

Subcontractors need protection from high fliers. Photo / Mark Mitchell
Subcontractors need protection from high fliers. Photo / Mark Mitchell

The demise of Hills Flooring, a family-run firm more than 50 years old, is very sad.

And it's even sadder when its voluntary liquidation is the result of Mainzeal's collapse.

Oh, the owners have said that times were tough and they were trading precariously. They weren't going to point the bone at Mainzeal.

But consider the way they handled their imminent demise. They released a statement reassuring staff and customers that "all outstanding staff wages and holiday allowances will be paid. The stock already bought and paid for by customers is secure and will be received by them."

That's class, pure and simple.

Unlike poxy old Mainzeal (and many others).

It sickens me to think that decent, hardworking subcontractors so often go under when poorly managed high fliers crash and burn.

There has to be some way of protecting subbies from the stupidity, mismanagement and/or criminality of people they supply.

A fidelity fund for big contractors? Payment upfront when a subbie's tender is accepted and the money placed in a trust account? Whatever. It's time subbies stopped paying the price for the hubris and incompetence of delusional high fliers.

- Herald on Sunday

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