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wesmith

Union steps in to help as workers lose Super and wages

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By the Working Life Team

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

WORKERS are without their super and wages to cover basic living costs.  after a leading engineering company left its staff short.

The  Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union (AMWU)  stepped in to make sure its members could put food on the table, after staff were left without wages or superannuation.

NSW north coast engineering company W.E Smith is being called on to pay the missing wages and super funds.

Details of the loss  emerged just as the Coalition introduced legislation to reduce penalties for not paying super on time, or in full.

It’s a growing trend that has unions worried.

“The previous owners of WE Smith didn’t pay super contributions for nearly a year,” revealed an AWMU spokesman.

“We’re glad regular contributions have resumed and the AMWU is working to recover the unpaid super – it should be in the workers’ super accounts right now building their retirement income.”

The union and Labor are calling on the company to do the right thing.

“Workers are owed superannuation and wages payments that have been missing or intermittent for up to 12 months,” said Labor’s Senator Doug Cameron, Shadow Human Services Minister.

Meanwhile, there are fears other workers across the country could find themselves in similar strife.

At least 690,000 people — one if 15 workers — missed out on their correct superannuation last year, official figures show.

Official statistics reveal Australians are losing $2.6 billion in super annually, a figure growing at around 5 percent per annum.

Senator Cameron said the AMWU deserved praise for coming to the aid of its members.

“When Malcolm Turnbull wants to demonise unions and their members, it’s the union that is stepping in here to support local families, not the local National Party or its Liberal masters in Canberra,” he said.

“Labor will continue to fight for the local communities of Cowper and we call upon the Nationals MPs in the area to do the same” Senator Cameron added.

Working Life is a forum to share ideas and opinions about work and life, both light-hearted and serious. The opinions presented on Working Life are those of the author, and do not necessarily represent policies or views of the ACTU.

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