[Documents menu] Documents menu

This story was found at: http://www.theage.com.au/news/20000129/A52127-2000Jan28.html

Sacked workers will lose $4m

By Natalie Davison, The Age,
29 January 2000: 51:46

Sacked textile workers from the Hunter Valley will be short-changed $4 million of their redundancy entitlements and may have to wait up to two years for their money.

The workers, who were left jobless when National Textiles folded a week ago, were told by creditors at a meeting in Newcastle yesterday that they would get their long-service leave, annual leave and unpaid wages straight away.

But the Textile, Clothing and Footwear Union said workers would have to wait six months for sick leave and would have to wait as long as two years to receive up to 50 per cent of their redundancy payouts.

A union spokesman, Mr Steve Davies, said the offer from creditors meant workers would get only $7 million of the $11 million owed them in entitlements.

Mr Davies said the money was not guaranteed and was dependent on the sale of the land and equipment left at the Rutherford site.

The workers held a meeting yesterday, vowing to maintain their picket line and fight for all their entitlements.

Earlier yesterday the NSW Government pledged to contribute to a federal funding package for the sacked workers despite calling the package unsatisfactory.

The NSW Industrial Relations Minister, Mr Jeff Shaw, said laws should be changed at the federal level to ensure that individual company directors who were morally culpable personally guaranteed workers' entitlements.

National Textiles' non-executive chairman, Mr Stan Howard, brother of the Prime Minister, Mr John Howard, yesterday rejected such a plan.

If you adopt a situation where directors are personally liable for company expenses you would have no directors, it's as simple as that, Mr Howard told reporters.

The voluntary administrator, Star, Dean and Willcocks, was unavailable for comment. AAP