FIVE staff from failed Tasmanian forest company Gunns' Launceston-based plantations business were sacked last week.
The staff, who were given less than half an hour's notice of their dismissals by Gunns administrator PPB Advisory, included the Gunns Plantations Ltd chief executive.
The sackings came as PPB Advisory told farmers involved in the company's managed investment schemes that it wanted to freeze quarterly land rental payments until at least the end of June.
The staff do not know when they will find out if they will be paid their entitlements.
PPB Advisory is trying to find another manager for the investment schemes.
PPB Advisory partner Daniel Bryant told farmers at a meeting in Launceston this week that the administrators were close to a deal with a new responsible entity.
PPB Advisory told the Victorian Supreme Court in a Melbourne hearing last month that it was negotiating a potential restructure of the Gunns Woodlot schemes and the Great Southern schemes with Macquarie Bank and WA Blue Gums.
It is understood that Gunns' receiver Korda Mentha, appointed by the company's lending institutions, is angry at a possible delay of the second creditors' meeting until responsibility of the managed investment schemes has been sorted out.
Sources say Korda Mentha had threatened to get rid of all the Gunns Plantations staff.