Feb 7, 2007

Tristar workers return to Parliament House

Tristar workers return to Parliament House


7 February 2007

Federal Labor Leader Kevin Rudd, Deputy Leader Julia Gillard and I met with workers from Tristar Steering and Suspension Ltd in Parliament House yesterday.

Later, as the workers watched from the galleries, Federal Labor used the first question time of 2007 to pursue the government on its failure to respond to the Tristar workers’ requests for assistance in pursuing their entitlements, alongside other critical issues such as the water crisis and climate change.

Kevin Rudd asked why the Prime Minister had failed to respond to a letter from Tristar workers of three months ago, and why the Prime Minister ignored the indecent way the Tristar workers have been treated until their plight received media attention in January.

In Parliament, I challenged the Prime Minister to take action in defence of these workers, saying:

“On 10 August I asked the Prime Minister a question which included whether he would use his office to ensure that redundancy payouts would be received by these great hardworking Australians. I received a dismissal. The Prime Minister was again asked in November.

I met with the workers here on 2 November when they travelled to Canberra. They wrote to the Prime Minister and asked for a meeting. I met them with the then Leader of the Opposition and the then shadow minister for workplace relations.

Since then I have been to Tristar at least 10 times—well before the government discovered that this was an issue in January—and, again today, the workers of Tristar were here. I, with the Leader of the Opposition and the shadow minister for industrial relations, who came and visited the site last Thursday, met with those workers again today. I can assure the Prime Minister that we will continue to fight for their rights.”