FEBRUARY 17, 2020 – The Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union (AMWU) condemned the lack of Government support for Australian manufacturing that led to today’s announcement of the retirement of iconic Australian brand, Holden.
“Today’s announcement that the Holden brand will be retired at the end of 2020 is a tragic end to over 100 years of Australian car history. The Liberal Government should hang their heads in shame for watching over the demise of our car manufacturing industry”, said AMWU National Assistant Secretary, David Smith.
Over six hundred workers will lose their jobs at the Holden design studio and Lang Lang proving ground, both in Melbourne, as a result of the closure.
“In 2013, the Abbott Liberal Government refused to invest in Holden. The Liberal Treasurer, Joe Hockey, dared Holden to leave. Today we’ve seen the end result of that arrogance and indifference towards Australian manufacturing”, Mr Smith said.
“Australian manufacturing is being destroyed by conservative Governments with no plans for the future of our industry. We have the skills and capacity to be a world leader in advanced manufacturing, but we have a Government that refuses to invest in manufacturing jobs. This Government has no vision for and no commitment to Australian manufacturing”, Mr Smith said.
“Today’s announcement is devastating for the six hundred workers and their families who are staring down the barrel of unemployment”, said AMWU Victoria State Secretary Tony Mavromatis.
“We know that workers who lost their jobs in previous rounds of closures have struggled to find equivalently skilled and secure jobs”, Mr Mavromatis said.
“These workers thought that they would have an ongoing future with Holden after they survived the manufacturing closure. Today they have had that future ripped away”, Mr Mavromatis said.
“This is a sad day for the hundreds of workers who’ve lost their jobs, and a sad day for the whole Australian community” Mr Mavromatis said.
“For decades, Holden was synonymous with the Australian way of life. Generations of car-mad kids grew up obsessing over a favourite model of Commodore or watching Peter Brock conquer Mount Panorama in the Torana”, Mr Smith said.
“Today we’ve lost more than Australian jobs, we’ve lost an Australian icon, and the Liberal Party is to blame”, Mr Smith said.