|Issue No 51||28 April 2000|
Entitlement Time-Bomb Still Ticking
The failure of Workplace Relations minister Peter Reith to develop an acceptable to protect workers' entitlements has left the Howard government exposed in the face of future company failures.
Unions have warned that without an acceptable scheme, further campaigns like those waged by the Oakdale miners and National Textile workers are inevitable.
The warning came after Reith this week ruled out, for the first time, any form of insurance scheme or employer levy that would guarantee workers their full entitlements.
The move was made at a meeting of state and territory labour ministers, where Reith presented as a fait accompli the taxpayer-funded employer entitlement security scheme which has already been rejected as inadequate by the Labor states.
Reith told the meeting the taxpayer scheme would run for three years before being reviewed. But no state or territory has to date signed up to the scheme which the Labor states believe the scheme is inadequate and wrong in principle.
While Reith says the scheme would meet 80 per cent of entitlements, Labor states warn the scheme will in many instances only pay 20 per cent of entitlements and would most adversely effect long-term employees because of the capping of individual categories of entitlement.
NSW Labor Council secretary Michael Costa says the failure to develop a decent scheme leaves all Australian workers exposed if their companies' liquidate.
"Until there is a comprehensive scheme, the issue of workers entitlements will keep returning to haunt the Howard Government," Costa says.
Interview: Wrestling With Reith
CPSU national secretary Wendy Caird has faced the full force of Peter Reith's attack on the federal public sector. The good news is she's still fighting.
Unions: The Organiser
As the nature of working life changes fundamentally, union organisers like Sally are taking up the challenge and changing too.
Safety: Remembering the Fallen
NSW Industrial Relations Minister Jeff Shaw's keynote address to mark the International Day of Mourning for Deaths in the Workplace.
History: May Day Connections
May Day as a modern working class celebration and commemoration began from the 1886 events in Chicago where workers were demonstrating for an eight hour day. But the day already had special significance for working people before then.
Women: Swelling the Ranks
Jenny Wright wears the honour of being the nation's first pregnant wharfie modestly. But it's not all clear sailing for this trailblazer.
International: Dawn Raid to Arrest Korean Union Leaders
Riot police have broken into the office of the Daewoo Motors Workers Union in Pupyung, near Seoul, and taken union leaders into custody for the "crime" of leading a militant struggle to save the jobs of Korean auto workers.
Satire: Angry Star City Staff Strike it Unlucky
Gamblers panicked when they discovered they were locked out of the Casino when 1800 workers walked out.
Review: The World of Wobbly Window Cleaners
A new book 'Reshaping the Labour Market' shines the spotlight on the impact of labour market deregulation.
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Last Modified: 15 Nov 2005