Clipsal to sack 200 workers, close Barossa factory

June 21, 2008

On June 12, the South Australian-based manufacturing company Clipsal announced it would sack 200 permanent workers and close its Nurioopta plant based in the Barossa Valley. The company indicated that there would likely be unspecified "flow on" job cuts in its labour hire workforce.

The sackings will take place when Clipsal closes its Nurioopta plant along with a second plant in the city's fringe at Bowden. Clipsal will consolidate its operations at Gepps Cross in Adelaide's north. Permanent employees will be offered new jobs in the Gepps Cross plant, an 80-kilometre round trip for workers living in the Barossa.

Management stated that permanent employees who cannot move from Nurioopta to Gepps Cross will be made redundant, but not those from the Bowden plant. The move will start later this year and continue through to 2009.

A June 13 ABC Online report quoted the Australian Workers Union (AWU) official Wayne Hanson condemning Clipsal's decision, saying that management has broken its word.

Clipsal was recently bought by the Scheider company which promised that no regional Clipsal plants would be shut down. Hanson told the ABC Online that, "When the Schneider company bought the Clipsal cartel it gave very firm commitments to the continuation of manufacturing in the regional areas ... These commitments have not been honoured."

The same article quoted SA Premier Mike Rann as describing the sackings as "disappointing". But he failed to demand the company return the millions of dollars of government subsidy handed over to promote regional employment.

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