Tristar claims ‘idle’ employees won't work


Tristar claims ‘idle’ employees won't work

Tristar, the company whose remaining employees claim the company is leaving them idle to save on redundancy payments, now claims there is work for them but they won’t do it.


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Tristar, the company whose remaining employees claim the company is leaving them idle to save on redundancy payments, now claims there is work for them but they won’t do it.

In a statement issued through a public relations firm yesterday, Tristar said that since September, it has been restructuring its business to remanufacture steering gears. ‘Workers refused to do this work,’ the statement said.

New Workplace Relations Minister Joe Hockey met with Tristar management this week and said they were ‘arguing that the factory is operational, it will continue to be used’.

‘That’s surprising to me, given that I visited the factory a few days ago and it certainly didn’t look too operational to me,’ he said. ‘But the Office of Workplace Services is now in the process of obtaining a large amount of information from the company.’

Opposition IR spokeswoman Julia Gillard said this morning at a press conference outside the Tristar premises in Marrickville, Sydney: 'There is one essential truth at the bottom of this Tristar dispute and that is that there is no work for these remaining workers at Tristar to do.’

‘They are redundant and they should be paid their full redundancy entitlements,’ she said. ‘The company doesn’t want to do that because it doesn’t want to give them what they are entitled to.'

Leaving them to rot

‘Instead the company is having them sit in this empty factory, leaving them to rot, occasionally coming along and bullying them and hoping against hope that it will wear them down and that they will go away with less money.’

In its statement Tristar it had started redundancies at the end of February 2005, and since then 219 employees had been made redundant at a cost of $11,308,378.39.

‘Tristar is now completing its restructuring program, downsizing the equipment and work- force to about 10% of its former size,’ the statement said. ‘This means that the space required for ongoing operations has been drastically reduced.

‘Since September, Tristar has been restructuring its business to remanufacture steering gears. Workers refused to do this work.

‘Many workers also refused to help with the downsizing, coinciding with the end of the factory lease. As a result Tristar had to bring in contractors to help clean and dismantle equipment.'

Employees refused

‘There was work to be done and some employees refused to do it. There are still contractors on site doing work which could be done by Tristar employees. ‘

Tristar claimed the union has ‘intervened on every possible occasion to prevent members from assisting the Company, creating numerous disputes which have had to be handled by the management’.

‘There are currently 24,000 steering gear cores owned by Tristar in Sydney available to be worked on at Marrickville and with the current workforce, about 1,000 gears can be processed each month,’ the company said.

‘This does not allow for possible expansion. There will be up to two years of work in reconditioning cores for steering gears for cars using existing stock.’

Tristar said its plan is to have the line up and running during February.

Work to be done

‘Tristar will not close down the business when there is work to be done,’ management said. ‘The question for the union and the workers is whether they will work? Will they comply with legally sanctioned directions from Tristar to commence work on remanufacturing?

Democrats Workplace Relations spokesman Senator Andrew Murray said today that the Tristar affair is ‘symbolic of what is wrong with Australia’s current workplace law and practice’.

‘While the Howard WorkChoices law is not specifically to blame here, the tenor of his new IR laws and Coalition philosophy, encourages a harsher climate that has the employer as king, with the divine right to act as they see fit,’ Murray said.

Workplace injustice, say Dems

‘The Tristar case is symbolic of the unacceptable, and thanks to the WorkChoices philosophy, a worsening attitude is evident towards employees in far too many businesses.

‘[Prime Minister John] Howard cannot avoid the inevitable reaction. Every new agreement that cuts wages and conditions, every workplace injustice, every workplace unfairness, and every mean rogue employer who believes he has been given his head by Mr Howard — will all be nailed to the Coalition door.’


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