The Guardian November 29, 2000


STP workers face loss of entitlements

Workers at STP Sunshine were informed on Friday, November 3 that STP 
Australia was in liquidation and they were to be terminated with no 
entitlements to be paid out because the STP Administration had no 
assets.

STP has left more than 200 employees Australia-wide owed $3.3 million in 
entitlements and unaware that they were secretly employed by a shelf 
company with no assets.

They were formerly employed by Southcorp Rheem until the business was 
transmitted to STP three years ago.

The now redundant workers stand to lose all their accrued entitlements, 
including long service leave, annual leave and superannuation.

Since November 3, the workers have been picketing outside the Sunshine 
plant in an attempt to try to recover some of their lost entitlements.

While the receiver is confident that the bank and other secured creditors 
will receive 100 per cent of their money back he does not believe the 
workers are going to receive any money from the sale of the businesses 
throughout Australia.

The union representing the workers (Australian Manufacturing Workers' Union 
 AMWU) is going to pursue the National Australia Bank (NAB) and Southcorp 
for money to be paid into a trust fund for workers in Sunshine and other 
plants throughout Australia to receive some of the money they are owed.

The AMWU is calling on the National Australia Bank, a secured creditor of 
the failed company, to take a back seat and allow 200 STP workers to 
receive their entitlements.

Rallies were organised for last Thursday outside NAB branches to highlight 
the union's concern for the STP workers.

The NAB appointed Price Waterhouse Coopers to act on their behalf and 
recoup over $10 million.
"The NAB just posted a record profit of $3.2 billion due to increased cost 
cutting, branch closures and hikes in fees", said AMWU Assistant National 
Secretary Dave Oliver.

"The AMWU wants the bank to step back and allow the workers to receive 
their money first before pursuing its own claims."

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