View Full Version : Ansett staff payments delayed

2nd Dec 2002, 07:11

Ansett staff payments delayed
By Barbara Adam
December 02, 2002

ENTITLEMENTS of former Ansett staff have been withheld by administrators of the failed airline because of an ongoing legal battle.

The Victorian Supreme Court has yet to resolve a fight between Ansett administrators and a staff superannuation fund, even though hearings finished in September.

The Australian Services Union (ASU) said today the administrators would not release the next staff dividend payment of five cents in the dollar until a decision in the court case was announced.

Ansett's 16,000 former staff stand to receive between 74 and 92 per cent of their entitlements, due to be paid in instalments as the administrators sell off the airline's assets.

At the last creditors' meeting in September, former Ansett staff were warned their entitlements could be substantially reduced and delayed by the legal challenge from the Ansett Ground Staff Superannuation Fund.

ASU assistant national secretary Linda White said former Ansett staff were becoming increasingly anxious about their next dividend.

"You can imagine, coming up to Christmas, people are hanging out for their instalment," Ms White told AAP.

"But the administrators have held up the payment because they've got a potential liability of a further $200 million (from the court case).

"The judge was told by the ACTU and the administrators how important a quick decision was to the former Ansett staff waiting for entitlements. We can only hope the decision is made before Christmas."

Ms White said the administrators had assured the ASU there would be little delay in paying the next staff dividend if the superannuation trustees lost their case.

Despite the assurance, Ms White said the administrators were not fulfilling their promise to regularly update staff on developments.

"We have asked the administrators to issue a bulletin but we are still waiting," she said.

Ms White said the ASU had been told by the Ansett committee of creditors that the sale of the airline's former Melbourne headquarters was settled late last month for more than $30 million, Qantas had been named the preferred bidder for Ansett's Melbourne engine shop and Ansett Australia brand and trademarks were to be put to tender over the next few weeks.

Ansett administrators were not immediately available for comment.


Buster Hyman
3rd Dec 2002, 10:08
Ansett administrators were not immediately available for comment.

Too busy counting MY money!!:mad: Oh well, at least they'll ensure that the interest all this money is accruing will go to the staff too....NOT! :mad: :mad: :mad:


3rd Dec 2002, 19:45
Buster, I sympathise with your feelings. Totally. But the law provides for the Administrators/Liquidators to have first cut of the pie. :mad:

Is the Ansett ticket tax still in force? No wonder Australia is headed towards a Budget surplus! :mad:

Buster Hyman
4th Dec 2002, 01:24
Cheers Torres.

I wonder if we had something more akin to Chapter 11 in the States how it would've gone? The problems were more than likely too deep seated to trade out of trouble...ahh well. :(

The ticket tax is still in place...at least the Ansett name is surviving in some form! Just another way to tarnish a once proud name.

4th Dec 2002, 07:48

It's possible Ansett could have had somewhat of a chance under a US style Chapter 11.

At least a court would have had a chance to see where some of the money was actually going i.e. fuel accounts, spare parts, catering etc and then make a decision while the company was still a going concern.

Once the doors shut then consumer and creditor confidence is shattered and it is that much harder to re-start or sell.

Look at Piper Aircraft - In and out of chapter 11 and all the while kept open - at least at a skeleton level. The result now is a light aircraft manufacturer that delivers 300 aircraft a year and employs hundreds.

UA and other airlines would have also been part of history without chapter 11.

Anyway, as B.H. said, the problems were likely too great to fix.

4th Dec 2002, 09:06
In the USA when an employer (as one of mine did) files chapter 7 bankruptcy (liquidation and cessation of operations) then the employees are considered to be "unsecured creditors" therefore are the last ones to recieve any monies...seems time and labor are not worth anything...:confused: :confused: :mad:

Buster Hyman
4th Dec 2002, 10:58
What a fine can of worms a judicial hearing into the affairs of AN would've uncovered!

Perhaps, rather than carrying on about what we could've done for AN, we need to ensure that a system like Chapter 11 is introduced to save the jobs of other workers all around?

(Hey! I should try for pre-selection in the Victorian Liberals! I'm sure to get a guernsey!!!:p :rolleyes: :eek: )

5th Dec 2002, 20:04
Australia has various forms of Management, including Receivership, Liquidation, Deed of Arrangement etc., some of which would have (and did) permit the company to continue trading.

A Receiver/Liquidator has an obligation to investigate the affairs of the company. It's interesting that the Liquidator does not appear to have confirmed or denied allegations involving missing engines, fuel accounts etc.

A prominent politician once said to me "Never hold an inquiry unless you first know the outcome." I guess you'll never see an inquiry into Ansett.

Pimp Daddy
5th Dec 2002, 22:14
It's interesting that the Liquidator does not appear to have confirmed or denied allegations involving missing engines, fuel accounts etc.

The administrators stated in their third creditors report that they had been unable to find any evidence that assets had been inappropriately transferred to Air NZ or that services such as fuel or IT had been wrongly charged.