APPM closes mills and goes yachting
By Dave Wright
HOBART — The APPM Wesley Vale and Burnie paper mills will be shut down for a week due to what management claims is a shortage of orders.
But at the same time that 1600 workers will be required to take enforced holidays, long service leave or leave without pay, APPM management announced its sponsorship for a new yacht race, the inaugural Melbourne to Burnie Reflex Challenge.
In fact, the company plans to close the mills for one week in each five until January, management told local unions.
APPM management said times are tough and pointed to bad conditions overseas, where competitors are also experiencing a decline in orders. This means "getting our cost structure into such a condition that we can compete with these people in both good and bad times", according to paper division manager Sam Quigley.
Julie Fraser from the Support Pulp Employees Committee, formed during the recent Burnie dispute, criticised the yacht-race sponsorship, saying it was a real injustice when times are supposed to be tough.