Jan 24, 2007

Labor condemns Tristar

Labor condemns Tristar

JOINT MEDIA RELEASE – JULIA GILLARD MP

DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION

SHADOW MINISTER FOR EMPLOYMENT AND INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS

ANTHONY ALBANESE MP

LABOR MEMBER FOR GRAYNDLER

24 January 2007

Labor condemns Tristar and calls on the Prime Minister to immediately intervene to ensure the company pays Mr Beaven his redundancy payment before he dies.

The case of Mr John Beaven and Tristar illustrates, with sickening clarity, the way some unscrupulous employers think they can treat even their most loyal, longstanding employees.

Labor first raised the Tristar case in the Parliament last August, calling on the Prime Minister to ensure the company met their redundancy obligations.

Tristar is expected to close its Marrickville factory, and had invited all of its employees to take voluntary redundancy, as a way of minimising their payments.

Mr Beaven’s application for voluntary redundancy, which was made on 12 December 2006, has still not been granted, although around 20 others have been approved since that time.

The company has instead continued to pay Mr Beaven his sick leave, because as long as he is sick, he is not “redundant”. Once Mr Beaven dies, he will be “deceased”, not “redundant”, so the company won’t have to pay his redundancy payment at all.

John Beaven’s total redundancy payment would be around $50,000. Without the redundancy payment, his children will have nothing to live on once he dies.

This company’s treatment of its employees is abhorrent and un-Australian. Tristar’s heartless disregard for its workers and their families offends Australian values.

Mr John Beaven’s first and only job was as the Accounts Manager at Tristar. He has worked hard for the past 43 years, on relatively low wages, and has accumulated very little superannuation.

Now in Calvary Hospice, Mr Beaven has cancer of the bowel and liver, and is sadly expected to live only a few more days. He turned 61 on Monday.

When Mr Beaven dies, he will leave three children, who are studying, aged 17, 19 and 21. The children lost their mother, Mr Beaven’s wife, on Christmas Eve 2005.

Mr Beaven’s family called the company last Wednesday, telling Tristar that Mr Beaven has only days to live, yet the company’s Director, Chen Hong, refused to consider Mr Beaven’s application.

Yesterday, Mr Hong hung up on broadcaster Alan Jones, who has drawn attention to Mr Beaven’s plight.

Mr Beaven has worked hard his whole life. He has the right to die with some peace and dignity, in the knowledge that he does not leave his children in poverty.

Labor will continue to fight for Mr Beavan’s redundancy.