Sacked Focus Press staff face grim reality

Luke Teixeira is one of many former Focus Press trainees out of work. Picture: CHRISTOPHER CHAN

Luke Teixeira is one of many former Focus Press trainees out of work. Picture: CHRISTOPHER CHAN

Former Focus Press staff have officially received their termination notices, putting the final nail in the coffin for more than 40 staff members sacked after the company encountered financial difficulty and was forced to sell its Wollongong facility.

On Saturday, the Illawarra Mercury reported between 40 and 50 jobs had been lost after Focus Press sold its Wollongong plant to BPA Print Group boss Mark Shergill.

Among them was 19-year-old trainee Luke Teixeira - one of many young workers who had benefited from a $6.1 million federal grant designed to help Focus Press employ local apprentices.

Mr Teixeira said he received his termination notice on Monday, 12 days after initially being told he was out of a job.

"I'm not very happy but there's really nothing I can do to be honest," he said. "Being over the Easter break I haven't had a chance to think about it."

The notice cites "financial difficulties" as being behind the business's sale.

"Regrettably this means your employment will terminate with immediate effect."

Mr Teixeira said employees were originally told they would lose their jobs when an email from Focus Press chief executive Alan Davies to management was handed out en masse on April 16.

"We were told the place had gone up for sale because he couldn't pay his bills any more," Mr Teixeira said.

The Mercury left a message on Mr Davies' phone, however, he did not respond prior to deadline.

The Mercury also left multiple messages with BPA Print Group on Monday and Tuesday, and was told staff were "very busy". The company did not respond prior to deadline.

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