Too little too late is how ACTU Secretary Greg Combet has described John Howard’s employee entitlements offer to Ansett’s 17,000 jobless staff.
“I am pleased that the Howard Government has finally recognised their responsibility for the disgraceful mess that they have left Ansett and its staff in,” Mr Combet said.
“But for those workers who have lost their jobs and their life savings, the Government’s proposal is just too little too late.
“This is a political fix designed by the Government to save its own skin, but it is not a fix for Ansett workers and their families who have been so badly let down by Air New Zealand and the Howard Government.
“The entitlements that these workers have lost is money that they have already earned. It’s their money – the Government can’t just pick and choose which entitlements they want to pay.
“The Prime Minister’s promise of a maximum of 8 weeks redundancy pay is small comfort to those workers who have lost their life’s savings.
“John Howard paid the workers at his brother Stan Howard’s National Textiles 100% of what they were owed – why not the workers at Ansett?”
Mr Combet said that instead of trying to invent a short-term political fix, the Federal Government should:
- · guarantee that workers will be paid 100% of what they are owed,
- · assist union efforts to make Air New Zealand responsible and pay workers’ entitlements, and
- · direct the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) to inquire into what is one of Australia’s biggest ever corporate disasters