20 Feb 2011

Whitcoulls' position still a closed book to union

6:02 am on 20 February 2011

The union representing some Whitcoulls workers says it is meeting with the company's administrators on Monday.

REDgroup, the Australian company that owns the Whitcoulls bookstore chain, as well as the Borders and Bennetts chains, placed itself under voluntary administration on Thursday evening, leaving the future of the stores uncertain.

The general secretary of the National Distribution Union, Robert Reid, says he has been able to arrange a meeting with the administrators, Ferrier Hodgson, next week, but has been given no information about the company's position.

Mr Reid says the union spent all Friday trying to contact Whitcoulls management and heard nothing back. He says the situation has been badly managed.

The National Distribution Union says it has up to 30 members working for Whitcoulls.

Ferrier Hodgson says it is urgently assessing the business's financial status and preparing for the first meeting of creditors in March.

Book vouchers

Customers with vouchers have to decide whether to find the extra cash needed to redeem their vouchers.

Whitcoulls and Borders bookshops require customers to spend the same amount again in cash to be allowed to redeem their vouchers.