Coquitlam-based Williams Moving and Storage is filing for bankruptcy protection following 86 years of operations in Western Canada.
The company informed employees of its intention to file for bankruptcy on Wednesday (January 21) afternoon, according to a blog posted by the union representing some Williams employees.
Unifor Local 114 representative Mark Cameron told Business In Vancouver that union members are “devastated” by the bankruptcy.
“It’s really tough to lose a job, especially a good job,” he said.
“So 125 of our members are out of work and out of a paycheque. Today was payday.”
Chapman said the union also represents owner-operators who were expecting to be compensated for recent labour costs and fuel charges.
“But because the company ceased operations, they (owner-operators) are now out. In some cases $20,000.”
Unifor met with Williams Moving and Storage early Thursday (January 22) to discuss moving forward but Chapman said the company made it clear it planned to sell off all its assets.
“We’ve known for some time this company has not been in the best financial position and that has been going on for quite some time,” he said.
Despite that, Chapman said the timing of the bankruptcy announcement took everyone by surprise.
A phone call to the company’s Coquitlam headquarters was greeted by a message explaining the company would be filing for bankruptcy protection.
The voice message went on to say the company is ceasing all trade and operations immediately and Deloitte Restructuring would be named as trustee for the company during the course of bankruptcy.
No one from Williams returned phone calls from Business In Vancouver, however, Chapman said the company was planning to hire another moving service to assist customers that were in the midst of a move.
Although Williams’ website is currently offline, an archived version shows the company’s mission statement is “to add value, through trust, integrity and compassion, to the lives of every person we touch – those that we move, those that we work with, and the communities in which we serve.”
Williams was established in 1929 and operated in both B.C. and Alberta.firstname.lastname@example.org