Reports this evening that 300 Holden engineers will lose their jobs by year’s end are an inevitable consequence of the Abbott Government’s decision to close down the automotive industry in Australia.
Our thoughts are with the workers who are losing their jobs as a result of the Abbott Government goading GM Holden to cease manufacturing in Australia.
The loss of these jobs is in line with expectations that Holden would gradually have to reduce staff as they start to run out of work.
If Labor was still in office, these engineers would be busy working on new Holden models, not losing their jobs or moving overseas.
Labor commends Holden for its commitment to redeploying staff where possible. The demand for Australian engineers in General Motors’ Detroit headquarters is a testament to their skills and creativity.
The Abbott Government’s actions have had disastrous consequences for those involved in the industry and the supply chain, with 50,000 direct jobs poised to go and 200,000 more at risk.
In the May Budget, the Government ripped another $400 million from the Automotive Transformation Scheme, bringing total cuts to a staggering $900 million. On top of that, it cut $5.1 million from vital skills and training programs for auto workers.
It has contributed a paltry $100 million to its so-called Growth Fund, well short of what is needed to pick up the pieces.
Unlike the Abbott Government, Labor believes there is a future for manufacturing in Australia – and that the automotive industry is part of that future.
WEDNESDAY, 17 SEPTEMBER 2014