The Guardian June 14, 2000


Call for entitlements campaign

The Victorian Trades Hall Council (VTHC) has called on the Bracks Labor 
Government to contribute to the Employee's Entitlement Support Scheme set 
up by the Federal Government. Although the VTHC sees the scheme as a stop-
gap measure, recently endorsing a resolution condemning it, they want it 
supported until it is replaced by a proper system.

The VTHC says State Labor Governments have an obligation to assist workers 
who are in financial crisis as a result of business bankruptcies to ensure 
workers receive their annual leave, sick leave, long service leave and 
superannuation when companies go into liquidation.

The Council's Secretary Leigh Hubbard said the inadequacy of the Federal 
Government's scheme should not be used as an excuse by the Bracks 
Government to do nothing.

"Both the Victorian Government and other State Governments will look silly 
if Peter Reith is providing assistance but they refuse to help."

Mr Hubbard stressed that the Council's position was not an endorsement of 
the scheme Reith has imposed on workers.

The Council's Executive resolution "condemns those employers who avoid 
their responsibility to pay workers their legal entitlements in the event 
of company closures and liquidations" and that "workers have a right to 
know their entitlements ... are accrued and available to them when their 
entitlements fall due."

The resolution calls for the establishment of comprehensive protection for 
workers' entitlements with the obligation being on the employer, not 
taxpayers, through trust fund arrangements and amendments to corporations 
law.

"Further, the VTHC Executive calls on the ACTU and all affiliates to 
collectively campaign to achieve the above, including carrying resolutions 
to the ACTU Congress and ALP National Conference."

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