HUNDREDS of workers at failed car parts manufacturer CMI Industrial have been guaranteed another six months' work following a creditors meeting placing the company into liquidation.
Its debts are estimated at up to $40 million and include $1.7 million in unfunded superannuation.
Administrators and receivers last month took control of CMI Industrial, a key supplier for Ford, after talks failed to sort out unpaid bills with its landlord.
Officially placing the company into liquidation yesterday, however, will allow administrators to find a buyer, which could save remaining workers from losing their jobs.
About 250 workers at four Victorian plants, and 150 at a site in Toowoomba in Queensland, will continue to work during the six-month temporary reprieve.
Another 50 workers have been made redundant and are still waiting on a payout figure from CMI's receivers to get a sense of their level of funded entitlements.
Two weeks ago, the federal government stepped in to provide General Employee Entitlements and Redundancy Scheme funding to help sacked employees recover some of their unpaid wages and leave.
Australian Manufacturing Workers Union's Victorian secretary, Leigh Diehm, said those who attended the two-hour meeting yesterday were shocked to hear how dire the company's finances were.
"We knew it was bad but we didn't think it was as bad as it came out this morning," Mr Diehm said.
The union now plans on pressuring CMI Industrial's liquidators into pursuing any case of financial mismanagement. "All our members are still very concerned about what the future holds," Mr Diehm said.
CMI Industrial's administrator did not return calls for comment.