||Issue No. 252||18 February 2005|
Wood for the Trees
Economics: Super Seduction
Interview: Bono and Me
Unions: The Eight Hour Day and the Holy Spirit
Technology: From Widgets to Digits
Education: Dumb and Dumber
Health: No Place for the Young
History: The Work-In That Changed a Nation
Review: Dare to Win
Poetry: Labor's Dreaming
The Locker Room
But Then Again
Financiers Squash Capital Idea
The subsidiary of US giant, General Electric, that recorded a $64 billion profit last year, has rejected an AMWU request to stand aside and allow displaced employees to collect before putting the bite on administrators for its $10 million.
GE Capital is developing a reputation around Melbourne for dealing to business in a single-minded debt collection campaign.
It is believed to have been a key player in the recent failures of manufacturers, National Forge and Ion.
AMWU state secretary, Dave Oliver, was disappointed by GE's hardline response.
"GE turned over $153 billion, last year, and administrators have told us that once they take their $10 million out of ABM Plastics, the company won't be able to meet redundancy entitlements," Oliver said.
"We asked them to take a back seat so loyal workers with up to 25 years service could get their money. That should have left GE with at least eight of the $10 million it is claiming.
"Basically, they told us to go to hell."
But GE is not the only corporate feeding off displaced employees.
Their Porsche driving-boss, Abe Waisman, is setting up a brand new operation within sight of frustrated picketers.
Administrators knocked down the company's plant and machinery to Australian-based multinational, Amcor, for $6 million, then told them, if they hung around and finished outstanding orders everyone could be paid - except them.
"Nobody thought that was a great idea so we set up a picket and nothing has been coming or going," Oliver explained.
Union members estimate Amcor got the plant and equipment at bargain-basement rates. It, too, has refused to meet the redundancy shortfall.
In a pincer movement designed to force workers to walk away from their money, a NSW-based food processor, Greens, is seeking IRC orders against them, and administrators are chasing a federal court injunction.
About 60 employees, and their supporters, took the battle to Waisman's mansion in saburious Brighton, last weekend.
They held a barbecue and leafleted Downes St to let the good burghers know their ponytailed neighbour had form.
Besides opening the new company, Waisman still drives a Porsche and his estranged wife gets about in a Mercedes Benz. He has holiday homes at beach resort, Lorne, and in the southern snowfields.
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