With the news that the Electrolux factory in Orange will build its last fridge today, the Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union (AMWU) mourns the closure of Australia’s last refrigerator factory.
Electrolux announced that it would move its production to Thailand in 2013. Since the announcement, the AMWU has been in negotiations with management to ensure that all 300 workers will be paid their redundancy entitlements in full.
“Let’s be clear: this factory closed because of the Abbott/Turnbull government’s failure to protect Australian jobs,” said AMWU NSW Secretary Tim Ayres.
“In 2013 Electrolux asked that the Federal government for a modest refinancing program to keep local jobs. For short-term, ideological reasons the government refused. The victims are the workers of Electrolux, their families and the community of Orange,” he said.
The Electrolux factory began as a munitions factory in World War Two, before being converted into producing Whitegoods. Many of its employees had spent decades at the plant.
“As well as providing a decent living for workers and their families, the factory was an important part of the local economy. This is a tragic day for regional Australia,” Mr Ayres said.
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