The ACTU welcomed today’s settlement of the Tristar dispute and congratulated the unions involved for achieving a new benchmark providing 100% protection of employee entitlements.

“This is a victory for the workers at Tristar and a major step forward in the unions’ campaign to establish comprehensive protections for the life savings of all employees,” ACTU President Sharan Burrow said today.

“The responsible and flexible approach of unions in these extremely difficult negotiations is to be commended. The unions’ responsible approach contrasts with Workplace Relations Minister Tony Abbott’s hysterical and immature attempts to sabotage the agreement by calling for an end to negotiations. Fortunately for the Australian vehicle industry, Mr Abbott failed again.”

The Tristar agreement provides employees with a full 10% wage increase over two years and a guarantee of 100% of their accrued entitlements through an insurance bond underwritten by a major bank.

Ms Burrow said an important principle established by the Tristar agreement was that wage increases were not offset against the employer’s insurance bond guaranteeing workers entitlements.

“On behalf of all union members, the ACTU thanks both the workers at Tristar and their industry colleagues who were stood down during this difficult dispute, for their discipline and solidarity in winning this important victory,” Ms Burrow said.

“This dispute would not have been necessary if the Howard Government had established a national scheme to provide 100% protection of employee entitlements. It has been left to employees and their unions to achieve these protections.

“The ACTU again calls on the Federal Government to legislate for a comprehensive, employer-funded scheme to provide 100% protection of employee entitlements to solve this problem once and for all.”