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Aggregate subbies to face another Christmas pay delay

  • 10 December 2012
  • By derren hayes

Subcontracted hauliers working for Aggregate Industries will have to stomach not being paid in December after the company announced it is to take a payment holiday for a third year running.

The decision by the construction materials giant to delay payments again will leave around 2,500 subcontractors – many of them owner-drivers who work solely for Aggregate Industries – short of cash over Christmas.

The firm informed hauliers late last month  that payments expected on 10 December for work done in October would be made on 7 January, along with November’s payment and a 1% ‘loyalty bonus’. Last year, it justified the move by saying it was operating in “unprecedented difficult conditions”.

This year, Aggregate Industries chief financial officer John Bowater said: “We’ve been working with our sub-contractors since the beginning of 2012 to agree the payment schedule for the year. Given the level of dialogue that we have with our suppliers, it’s surprising to see this raised.”

A number of the subcontractors who are angry with the company’s stance have contacted CM. One tipper operator, who is owed several thousand pounds for work carried out in October, described it as a “despicable” move.

“You’re expecting that money to come in. It wrecks your cashflow. I’ll now have to borrow money over Christmas,” he said.

Another, Howard Shade of Howard Shade Haulage, said: “I was expecting to be paid at the beginning of December, not January. How can a big company get away with 90-day terms?”

Jack Semple, director of policy at the Road Haulage Association, said: “It is not good business practice, but not uncommon. Hauliers are ending up acting as banks to much larger companies – 60 days [payment terms] seems to have become the norm, but it is much too long when you are paying up front for fuel and road tax.”


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