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MEA supports crackdown on dodgy deals that raid worker entitlement funds

Master Electricians Australia (MEA) has announced its support for moves to crackdown on dodgy deals between big unions and big employer groups regarding worker entitlement funds.

Last week it was revealed that the Victorian branches of the Electrical Trades Union (ETU) and the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) had received a combined $27 million from the redundancy fund Protect, with unanswered questions as to how the money will be spent.

MEA CEO Malcolm Richards said that the purpose of a redundancy fund is to compensate workers who have lost their jobs and that if there is excess money in the fund then it should be handed back to the employer.

“Money from worker entitlement funds should go towards paying a worker who has lost their job and nothing else,” Mr Richards said.

“NECA Victoria’s own 2018 financial report indicates that the $10 million it received went towards turning an operating loss into a giant $9.7 million profit.

“If there is surplus cash in the fund then NECA should hand back the extra money to employers who know best how to spend their own money.”

Mr Richards said that greater transparency was needed and that the parliament should pass the Proper Use of Workers Benefits Bill currently being debated in the House of Representatives.

“The Bill before the Federal Parliament seeks to impose higher standards around the governance of worker entitlement funds and MEA supports the legislation,” Mr Richards said.

“There needs to be greater transparency along with safeguards in place which guarantee that fund members’ money is used for their benefit and their benefit only.

“MEA urges both houses of parliament to pass this piece of legislation so that we can lift the standards regarding worker entitlement funds and ensure that no member is ripped off by either big unions or big employer groups.”

Malcolm Richards is available for interview.
Please phone the SAS Group on 07 3221 9222 or 0467 792 013.

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