View Full Version : Former Ansett workers settle payments dispute

21st Nov 2003, 10:02
ABC News Online
Last Update: Friday, November 21, 2003. 11:07am (AEDT)

Former Ansett workers settle payments dispute

An in-principle agreement has been reached to settle entitlements due to former Ansett employees.

A statement just released by administrators Korda Mentha says parties to the legal action involving former Ansett workers have agreed in principle to settle the action.

The parties hope to approach the Federal Court next week to seek orders to implement the agreement.

11:51 AEDT Fri 21 Nov 2003

Ansett unlocks funds to pay workers

An in-principle agreement has been reached to end long-running litigation blocking the payment of $415 million to former Ansett Airlines' workers and creditors.

The agreement was announced in the Federal Court in Melbourne on Friday.

The dispute concerns $180 million claimed by a staff superannuation fund from Ansett's administrators.

Lawyer Joseph Santamaria, QC, for fund's trustees, told the court on Friday that an in-principle agreement had been reached between the parties.

Details of the proposed agreement will be announced in court next Tuesday.

The proposed settlement follows three days of intense mediation between the administrators and the trustees, together with the federal government and the ACTU.

Justice Alan Goldberg welcomed the prospect of the an end to the dispute, saying he had been concerned about the length and cost of the litigation.

"If the parties have reached a settlement ... then the parties are to be commended for that," he said.

The deal will involve an alteration to the deed of company arrangement approved by Ansett creditors in March 2002, which prevented the company being liquidated.

The move blocked the $180 million from going to the Ansett Ground Staff Superannuation Plan.

However, the majority of the former airlines' staff approved the deed hoping it would speed the payment of redundancy entitlements.

It is understood the federal government, as Ansett's biggest single creditor, will be a party to the agreement.

The administrators have $415 million in the bank but are unable to distribute the money until the case is resolved.

The case has already been before the Victorian Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal before reaching the Federal Court.

©AAP 2003


Buster Hyman
21st Nov 2003, 11:10
Gee a little thing like DETAILS would go a long way!!!:mad:

Never mind me, I'm just a creditor!!!

21st Nov 2003, 13:22
"Here we go again"

Waiting,waiting waiting !!!!!!!

21st Nov 2003, 13:45
Ya' know Buster I suggested a settlement months and months ago!!!!!!!!!

All you could do then was diss me and support the ongoing waste of money by the Superfund trustees.:ooh:

Well at last, some sense. But what is left?:uhoh:

Buster Hyman
21st Nov 2003, 18:36
Which thread was that on E.P?

Nav Light
21st Nov 2003, 19:01
Yeh, but how much are we going top get? !0 cents in the dollar or 90 cents in the dollar, that makes a lot of difference when you are owed $20,000. It gives me the sh*ts....really does, all those pollies with their fat super payouts, and I can't get mine!

I'm going into politics! Sure bets the sh * t I am doing now! No, on 2nd thoughts- I wouldn't want end up like Pauline!

But it is really annoying to lose all that money, sometimes the system seems so unfare, and there aint nothing to be done about it!

I guess all I can do is dream of the good old days in Air NSW, and those overnights in Wagga Wagga, and old Peter Capewell in the spa in his undies!

It makes me still laugh!!!!!! At least I can walk away with that from this sorry mess!!!!!!!!!

21st Nov 2003, 20:06

Now Mentha and the other quaffers have finished at the trough I can't wait for the money to roll in. Hopefully I will receive enough to buy a carton of crownies for christmas.

Then again... maybe a six pack.

cabin secure
21st Nov 2003, 20:15
I think you'll find the payment to be an instalment of monies owed.

ie: owed $47 000

possibly get $4 700.

So don't spend the money until you're 100% sure as to the amount. Don't want to screw up Christmas.

Good luck everyone!

21st Nov 2003, 22:44
Sat "Melbourne Age"

Christmas payout to Ansett workers
By Leonie Wood
November 22, 2003

Former Ansett workers owed as much as $360 million are likely to receive a portion of their entitlements by Christmas after administrators of the failed airline yesterday struck an in-principle settlement in a long-running legal dispute.

Details of the deal between the administrators and trustees of the Ansett Ground Staff Superannuation Plan were not available but they will be outlined in the Federal Court on Tuesday.

The breakthrough came after just two days of court-brokered mediation involving the administrators, the trustees, the Commonwealth and the ACTU.

It also followed stern warnings this week by Justice Alan Goldberg, who repeatedly expressed concern that the case had dragged on for almost two years, through three courts, and had cost millions of dollars - at the expense of the Ansett workers.

The trustees had demanded the administrators, Mark Korda and Mark Mentha of KordaMentha, pay $180 million to the ground staff plan to help meet a huge shortfall in paying superannuation-based entitlements. More than half of Ansett's 16,000 workers were ground staff plan members when Ansett collapsed in September 2001. Members were due retrenchment pay under their awards and the fund's deed.

The trustees argued that a deed of company arrangement, agreed by Ansett creditors in March last year, unfairly relegated the $180 million claim to the ranks of unsecured creditors.

The trustees sued the administrators in the Victorian Supreme Court, and then took the claim to the Federal Court.

The court heard that a minority of the staff plan's members wanted the trustees to sue and most wanted funds paid immediately.

The administrators have $415 million, but owe the Commonwealth $335 million for a loan advanced in late 2001.

That loan covered employees' annual leave and long-service-leave entitlements, plus redundancy payments representing up to eight weeks' salary.

But many Ansett workers were owed much more than eight weeks of salary in lieu of notice, an outstanding debt that Mr Korda has estimated runs to about $360 million. Mr Korda previously has said that if the administrators successfully defended the trustees' claim, workers immediately would get 25 cents in the dollar for their outstanding eight-weeks-plus redundancy entitlements.

Another $190 million would be paid to the Government and it would get about 25 per cent of rest it is owed.

Justice Goldberg told the administrators that any creditor, who might be affected by the deal, should be notified and possibly represented on Tuesday.


Uncle Festa
22nd Nov 2003, 07:21
I'm still not holding my breath on any of this either in terms of the money that I will (eventually) receive or the time that it takes to receive it.

The whole debacle has left me more than a tad cynical . . . :suspect:

22nd Nov 2003, 09:12
Buster 'ol boy,

The topic you started on the August 14 2003.

"Ansett Ground Staff Super Action moves to Supreme Court."

I was only attempting then, what has now occurred, thereby saving millions that have since been wasted.

At the time Buster, you seemed a little opposed to this. :ouch:

Z Force
22nd Nov 2003, 10:26
Navlight, what's Peter Capewell up to these days?

Buster Hyman
22nd Nov 2003, 12:05
Well, bully for you E.P.!:rolleyes:

Woo-Hoo! You are so clever & the rest of us dummies can only stand in awe of your intelligence!

Perhaps English isn't your first language & that's why you had totally missed my point, in which case, fair enough.

Now, have another read of what I've typed & tell me where I "dissed" you for suggesting a settlement.

My ire was directed at;
Do the ground staff even realise that they are screwing their former workmates

Your shallow attempts at discrediting the work of certain groundstaff who have been trying to dissuade NSP Buck from this legal action was, frankly, insulting! There are no groundstaff, that I'm aware of, who have been active in promoting this unecessary action.

Not ONE nor ANY collective group of ground staff member(s) have made any formal (read legal) attempt to have the Plan trustees cease action or settle.

And who told you this? The trustees? Well, I'm sure they wouldn't tell you a fib, would they?

I believe however, that like the majority of ground staff, you are betting on the big payout from the court case.

This speaks volumes about you & your charachter. If you truly were at Ansett, then I'm embarrassed.:suspect:

I'll attach a part of just one of many e-mails that have been sent (this one was not by me) by former groundstaff members, in relation to ending this matter. Perhaps, you could enlighten us on the action you have taken...apart from calling Michael Tilley?

The objective of section 14(6) of the SRC Act is to limit the complaints that the Tribunal can review to complaints about decisions that concern individual members, not decisions that have a fund-wide application because they relate to the overall management of the fund or because they concern all members of the fund or whole classes of members.
Phil McGrath
Superannuation Complaints Tribunal


22nd Nov 2003, 15:49
This is unbelievable!

When Ansett failed it is alleged that the administrators did a deal with Air New Zealand for a one time payment of $150 Million

Let me see, $415 million raised, minus $150 million = $265 Million????????

I thought M&M flogged off the terminals for about $200 Million, leaving a conservative maximum of $65 raised from asset sales

So after two years of administration, and also after selling off all the assets that had a market, the best they have come up with is maybe $65 million. (after their fees)

Does this mean that everything else that Ansett owned, including 501 Swanston street, All the Aircraft, Simulators, maintenance facilities, etc etc was only worth $65 Million?

If not how much are the remaining assets (if any) worth?

Does anyone know how much money was owed to the other creditors and how much they have received?

You have to be JOKING!!!

Sir Reg must be rolling over in his grave

:( :( :(

p.s. What happened to the $180 million missing from the ground staff superannuation fund?

23rd Nov 2003, 05:52
Zoolander I think you'll find most of the money that came from Air NZ was squandered by the two M's in keeping the airline afloat and operating at a huge cumulative loss awaiting those two chumps (Fox & Lew) to start the Tesna ball rolling.

This misguided belief by Corda/Mentha that the airline had to be kept running if it was ever to be resurrected has cost the former employers an arm and a leg - and possibly their livelihoods.

Lied to by Fox/Lew, deceived by Corda/Mentha as well as idiot statements from that ACTU chap Greg Combet (who supposedly stated that Fox/Lew had indeed spent significant funds to secure Airbus aircraft).
Yeah - there went his credibility!

Well, hindsight is a wonderful thing but they should have left it in the hands of the original liquidator that wanted to shut the airline down from the start and either sell the business as a whole or sell it off in pieces.
Everyone would have been better off.

23rd Nov 2003, 10:13

Were you and I married in a past life?:sad:

Buster Hyman
23rd Nov 2003, 16:41
Not a chance!

I was celibate back then.

And it's "nail on the head" time from TIMMEE!

25th Nov 2003, 08:56
Ansett workers payout rises to $217m
November 25, 2003 - 11:58AM
From www.smh.com.au

Former Ansett employees are set to get an extra 42 cents in the dollar on their outstanding entitlements under a deal to settle long-running litigation over the airline's assets.

The agreement, announced in the Federal Court in Melbourne today, involves the Commonwealth agreeing to defer its claim on $67 million owed to it by the airline's administrators.

Under the settlement which is being presented to the court for approval, $150 million will be available for employees' entitlements almost immediately, with the $67 million contributed by the government to be distributed to staff according to an agreed formula.

The complicated deal will end nearly two years of legal action between the airline's administrators and the trustees of an employees' superannuation fund which was pressing a claim of $180 million on the airline's assets.

Of the $67 million, $39 million will go to members of the Ansett Ground Staff Superannuation Plan, while $28 million will go to the airline's remaining workforce.

Simon Whelan, QC, for the administrators, said the deal would make an extra 42 cents in the dollar available for payment to employees.

"It will take them to 71 cents in the dollar," he told the court.

Mr Whelan said the agreement involved a re-ordering of payment priorities.

"The proposal works because the Commonwealth are stepping back for a sum of money and the sum ...is $67 million," he said.

Mr Whelan said no creditors would be disadvantaged by the deal except the Commonwealth and possible members of the superannuation trust who were close to retirement.

Justice Alan Goldberg, who will have to approve the settlement, expressed satisfaction that a compromise had been reached.

"The over-riding issue is that two years of litigation, millions of dollars in cost and further litigation is bought to an end," he said.

Ansett workers to get better deal
November 25, 2003

FORMER Ansett employees are set to get an extra 42c in the dollar on their outstanding entitlements under a deal to settle long-running litigation over the airline's assets.

This gives them a total of 71c in the dollar.

The agreement, announced in the Federal Court in Melbourne today, involves the commonwealth agreeing to defer its claim on $67 million owed to it by the airline's administrators.

The Australian Services Union (ASU), the largest of the unions representing former Ansett workers, welcomed the proposed settlement.

"Nobody wanted to see the lawyers grow rich and fat over this," ASU assistant national secretary Linda White said.

"A whole lot of Ansett employees are doing it tough and they wanted the money.

"It was their company and they just didn't want to see this be bogged down in the courts for years to come.

"It's all about giving to people who put their heart and soul and life into Ansett what they really deserved, and it's good that it can be resolved in a way that is going to close this chapter for them."

Ansett administrators have $415 million in the bank and will be able to pay out $300 million under the settlement, while keeping $115 million for other contingencies.

The commonwealth, which is owed $217 million for money lent to pay workers leave entitlements and eight weeks' redundancy payments, will receive $150 million up-front under the settlement.

Employees will receive $150 million in entitlements, taking their total payout so far to $540 million.

Ansett still has about $200 million in assets to be sold, including 29 aircraft and millions of spare parts.

Administrators Korda Mentha say if the remaining assets are sold, employees should eventually receive 85c in the dollar.

Johhny Utah
25th Nov 2003, 09:45
Ansett administrators have $415 million in the bank and will be able to pay out $300 million under the settlement, while keeping $115 million for other contingencies.

What sort of possible contingencies are they taking into account? Why don't they just release this money to the employees, and use any future sale of assets left to cover any contingencies.... :mad:

Buster Hyman
25th Nov 2003, 10:29
Now, lets see what the next excuse is for delaying the payments to staff!!:hmm:

25th Nov 2003, 13:25
25 November 2003

The agreement over Ansett workers’ entitlements proposed today in the Federal Court, if approved by the Court, represents a major achievement by the Ansett administrators, the ACTU and unions, who have now secured approximately $550 million out of $760 million owed to 15,000 former Ansett workers, said ACTU Secretary Greg Combet.

“This is good news for former Ansett workers” said Mr Combet.

“Ansett workers still owed money from the collapse of the airline will receive another $150 million if today’s settlement of a long-running dispute over superannuation funds is approved by the court,” he said.

To date workers have received an average payment of around 52 cents in the dollar. The proposed release of further funds will raise this to 71 cents in the dollar.

“If the agreement is approved, we are hopeful that thousands of Ansett workers will receive their money by early in the New Year, and possibly as early as Christmas,” Mr Combet said.

“This would represent a major breakthrough for the workers, although many still hope to receive the full amount they are owed.”

The proposed agreement follows negotiations between the Howard Government, the Ansett administrators, the Ansett Ground Staff Super Fund, and the ACTU. Mr Combet acknowledged that an important factor in reaching agreement had been compromise by the Government.

Mr Combet said the administrators and unions would now work to secure up to 85 cents in the dollar for workers, but that would depend on the sale of aircraft which could take at least two years.

“The ACTU will continue to campaign for workers to receive all they are owed. If the Government makes a profit from the Ansett ticket tax, we will continue to argue that this should be paid to Ansett workers,” said Mr Combet.

25th Nov 2003, 22:55
They will profit from the misery that they helped create,in financial numbers but in the longer term people may realize that what happend was the Pom took a couple of billion out of Aussie to leave behind a lesser product than what already existed(just a bit of facilitation by our pollies could have saved a lot) even Air NewZealand may have had to pay the full bill instead of getting off so light for so much damage and in fact what a stupid decision by all concerned to allow them to rack up the debt to put their name on the second half of the company.I look forward to ANZ getting what they gave to Ansett and I reackon its on its way.