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Workers from collapsed airline welcome money

Workers from collapsed airline welcome money

The union that represented many of the workers who lost their jobs when Tasman Pacific collapsed in 2001 is welcoming news that they are to finally get some money, but says the saga highlights the need for change.

Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union national secretary Andrew Little said that many people had suffered in the collapse of the Tasman Pacific, the company that operated Qantas New Zealand.

“These workers are getting 15 per cent of what they’re owed,” he said.

“It’s more than it looked like they would get, but the plight of these people highlights the need for workers’ rights to be protected when companies collapse.”

Mr Little called for a fund to be established into which companies would pay money to cover any redundancy and wage liabilities.

At the time of the collapse, the maximum each worker could claim as a preferential creditor was $6000 for wages and holiday pay. Any extra money owed – including the entire redundancy payment – was treated as an unsecured debt.

The Government has since increased the cap to $15,000 per worker and included redundancy pay in the equation, but the change does not cover the Tasman Pacific workers.

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