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Blundstone workers get redundancy deal as jobs go offshore; Workplace literacy program extended; Tas jockeys racing for compo scheme; Major parties should give Tristar workers company's political donations; and ACCI hit by scammers.

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Blundstone workers get redundancy deal as jobs go offshore; Workplace literacy program extended; Tas jockeys racing for compo scheme; Major parties should give Tristar workers company's political donations; and ACCI hit by scammers.

Blundstone workers win redundancy deal

About 300 workers at the Blundstone Hobart work boots plant, about to lose their jobs when the company moves to India and Thailand, have won a redundancy deal of two weeks pay for each year of service.

Officials from the Textiles, Clothing and Footwear Union of Australia said agreement had been reached on a package, which would include retraining opportunities for workers.

Workers would receive two weeks' pay for each year of service, union National Secretary, Tony Woolgar, said yesterday. The workers are set to lose their jobs from June as the company moves production to Thailand and India because it says it cannot compete with cheap Asian imports.

Blundstone Chief Executive, Steve Gunn, said the redundancy provisions were agreed to by workers on all shifts.'It enables higher redundancy payments for people who work through to their advised notice date,' he said. 'Indicatively, those payments are between 20% to 40% higher than the standard redundancy package.'

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Workplace literacy program extended

The Federal Government has extended a program to improve language, literacy and numeracy skills in the workplace.

The program is expected to result in 80,000 employees receiving workplace-related language, literacy and numeracy training over the next four years at a total cost of $74.9m.

The Minister for Education, Science and Training, Julie Bishop, said employers had found that the training delivered a more skilled workforce 'leading to improved productivity, quality of work and teamwork, reduced staff turnover and reduced occupational health and safety incidents.'

More than 60% of employers surveyed for a review of the program said that they intended to continue language, literacy and numeracy training in their businesses after their projects ended.

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Tas jockeys want compo deal

The AWU wants Tote Tasmania to provide a workers' compensation scheme for jockeys, saying its current treatment of them is 'obscene'.

Tasmanian jockeys are lobbying for full workers' compensation to bring them into line with their mainland counterparts.

However Tote says it should not be burdened with the cost of workers' compensation, because it does not employ the jockeys.

Australian Workers Union (AWU) Secretary, Bill Shorten, says it is shirking its responsibility.

'Tote Tasmania is hiding behind a legal tissue paper,' he said. 'They say what you can wear, they say when you can be there, they give you all these rules about how jockeys can ride, so they are employees.'

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Give workers Tristar money, say Greens

The NSW Greens are calling on the major parties to transfer the almost $100,000 they have received in election donations from Tristar's parent company into a trust fund to assist the embattled Tristar workers.

Greens MP, Lee Rhiannon, said 'These donations would go some way to restoring the entitlements Tristar workers have lost because of the unscrupulous actions of the company's management. If the Liberal and Labor parties hold onto these Tristar donations, while the workers lose their entitlements, it will further discredit the practice of corporations funding the major parties.'

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ACCI hit by 'scammers' using its name

The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) is concerned about a growing number of scams misusing its name, or variants of it.

ACCI said it is aware of at least two scams - one consisting of a job offer by email and another seeking to conduct a detailed survey by phone — using ACCI's name or variants such as the 'National Chamber of Commerce' or the 'Australian Chamber of Commerce.'

Peter Hendy, ACCI Chief Executive, said he is also aware of people purporting to conduct telephone surveys on behalf of the 'Chamber of Commerce'.

'ACCI does conduct four genuine quarterly surveys asking, in writing, general questions about own business and general economic conditions,' he said. 'We may use telephone, fax or personal contact to follow up on these surveys, but only if the surveys have already been faxed or posted to the business or by prior agreement with the business. ACCI does not conduct surveys through cold calling.'

Hendy said businesses that are suspicious should not answer any questions, but should take down the details of the caller and contact ACCI to check that the survey is legitimate.

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