|Issue No 47||24 March 2000|
Insurance Deal Guarantees Entitlements
As National Textile Workers finally receive their entitlements, unions in a Sydney workshop have secured accrued benefits through an innovative insurance scheme.
Workers at TRW Steering and Suspension made the insurance bond an industrial issue when the company was sold to a new owner - complete with nearly $17 million in accrued entitlements.
After a heated dispute with the new management of the company Tri Star Steering and Suspension (TSSA) the unions on the site including the AWU, NUW and ETU, negotiated the acquisition of an irrevocable insurance bond.
The bond will insure approximately $ 17 million worth of accumulated employee entitlements for the life of the current enterprise agreement. This will satisfy any shortfall in TSSA's ability to meet, upon insolvency and redundancy any accumulated employee entitlements.
AWU organiser for TSSA, Ray Sparkes, says the insurance bond provides deserved protection for employees who put a lot into the company.
"We have shown that employee entitlements cannot be abused by irresponsible management. This is the workers money and should be protected as superannuation is."
"The bond covers about 400 employees including staff. We have had some staff members join the union because of this bond."
AWU delegates Dene Fletcher and Peter Boader were part of the AWU negotiating team and reckon employee morale and productivity have improved thanks to the guaranteed safety of their entitlements.
"If this company went belly up a lot of workers could lose a lot of money. There is always talk of retrenchments. But we have managed to guarantee we get what we worked for, and the AWU is stronger for that" Dene said.
AWU State Secretary Russ Collison congratulated the AWU members at TSSA for the teamwork in negotiating the insurance bond and described the deal as a " landmark for industrial relations in Australia.
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Last Modified: 15 Nov 2005