July 16, 2002
Protect Us From Company Collapses - Workers
Workers are calling for a fund to be established to protect their money when companies collapse.
Delegates at the EPMU’s biennial conference in Rotorua say that they want a system similar to the Australian National Entitlement Security Trust to be set up here.
Earlier in the day they had heard that many of the 1000 workers who lost their jobs when Qantas New Zealand collapsed last year are still waiting for much of the money they are owed.
Speakers from the Australian Manufacturing Union said that the Nest scheme they established had protected their members from this situation.
Under the scheme, employers pay into the non-profit making trust to cover workers’ entitlements in the event of a company collapse. Liabilities covered include annual leave, long service leave, sick leave, paid parental leave and redundancy payments. The trust covers the manufacturing, fabrication, printing, packaging, community sector, childcare and labour hire industries.
EPMU national secretary Andrew Little said that it was vital that New Zealand workers have a similar protection. The union would take the issue up with Labour Minister Margaret Wilson when she spoke to the conference tomorrow.
Note: the visitors from the AMWU and Nest are in New Zealand until lunchtime tomorrow.