Commenting on the secret overnight move by Pacific Brands to ship machinery bought with a government subsidy out of Australia, ACTU President Sharan Burrow said:
“There is strong support from unions and the wider community for Pacific Brands workers as they fight to save their jobs.
“Pacific Brands should immediately halt its plans to send offshore machinery bought with the assistance of taxpayers’ money.
“The company received $17 million of Government support in the past two years to retain production in Australia.
“Its decision to axe 1850 jobs is a callous act that could have been avoided.
“In the current economic downturn, Australian employers should be doing more to protect and preserve jobs.
“Workers are determined to stand up for Australian jobs and to strengthen local industries.
“We cannot stand by while jobs are unnecessarily taken offshore and the livelihoods of so many workers are put at risk.
“Australian unions will meet next week at the ACTU’s national Congress in Brisbane to plan a co-ordinated campaign against the loss of jobs and industries offshore.”