Feb 14, 2007

Tristar workers out of options, tomorrow

Tristar workers out of options, tomorrow

MEDIA RELEASE – JULIA GILLARD MP

DEPUTY LABOR LEADER

SHADOW MINISTER FOR EMPLOYMENT AND INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS

14 February 2007

As of tomorrow, Thursday 15 February 2007, the 35 remaining workers at Tristar will no longer be able to seek voluntary redundancy.

Tristar Steering and Suspension Australia Ltd advised the workers by posting a letter on the workshop notice board that despite having accepted voluntary redundancies for the last 21 months (since 15 March 2005), voluntary redundancy applications would not be accepted as of 15 February 2007.

The last minute redundancy amendments to the Howard Government’s unfair Work Choices legislation has prolonged the period of uncertainty for the Tristar workers by 12 months.

In addition, if the workers are asked to sign a new contract by Tristar within the 12 month period after the end of their EBA, their current redundancy entitlements will be completely surrendered.

Any new agreement, whether individual or collective, offered to the workers at Tristar may not include a redundancy entitlement. This is because redundancy is not one of the five minimum conditions stipulated by Work Choices.

It is clear to all and sundry that the factory is not operational and there is nothing for the workers to do.

On the Alan Jones program this morning, the Prime Minister said he would not go out to Tristar to see for himself the empty factory and the workers.

Labor first asked the Prime Minister on 10 August 2006 to ensure that the Tristar workers received the redundancy they were entitled to. The Minister’s claim that the case is being investigated by OWS is the use of a public agency for purely political purposes.

The OWS has the power to investigate breaches of the Workplace Relations Act. However, the Prime Minister and the Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations have already established that there has been no breach of their law.

The Prime Minister and the Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations have failed to get an outcome for the Tristar workers, plain and simple.