Ansett creditors’ support today for selling the main business to Tesna was a major step forward for Ansett employees, the ACTU said today.

“The creditors’ decision clears the way for 4,000 employees to take up jobs directly with Tesna and thousands more jobs to be saved in regional airlines and associated businesses,” ACTU Secretary Greg Combet said.

“Those Ansett employees being made redundant are now almost certain to be paid their legal entitlements in full, despite the Howard Government’s scheme funding only up to eight week’s redundancy.”

Mr Combet said that under the new Tesna enterprise agreement, employees would own 5% of the company in a deal potentially worth more than $20 million for the employees from the start-up and possibly much more in the future.

“The Tesna agreement helps achieve the ACTU’s two key objectives of saving as many Ansett jobs as possible and ensuring all redundant employees are paid their full entitlements,” Mr Combet said.

“Ansett employees and their unions deserve credit and congratulations for their achievements in rebuilding the airline over the last four months, despite the continuous opposition of the Howard Government.”

Mr Combet said the creditors’ approval provided a major step forward for Tesna and overcoming the remaining commercial hurdles ahead of its launch now depended on the commitment of the new owners.