Monday, January 24, 2011

Shame on Hills! Gillard should guarantee jobs!


Tuesday January 24, 2011 - Socialist Alliance has condemned the decision by Orrcon., local steel pipe and tube manufacturer, to sack 16 of its Unanderra workers. Orrcon, owned by the Hills Holdings group, received $486,500 worth of government assistance in 2007.

Patrick Harrison (pictured left), Socialist Alliance candidate for the NSW Legislative Council, said: ‘Shame on Hills. This is how they treat their workers in a region that constantly battles with unemployment. It’s heartless and unacceptable. And the fact that they’ve just increased some of their directors' pay by $250,000 is just a cruel slap in the face.

‘The federal government is approaching this in the wrong way. In 2007 Orrcon received $486,500 in federal funds to employ 14 people, but then sacked 27 people six months later. Now another 16 have been given the flick. Why are they allowed to get away with this? Who is the Labor Party governing on behalf of?

‘Julia Gillard should demand that Orrcon opens its books to workers and the community, to really see if they can’t afford to save these jobs. If this demand is refused Orrcon should be placed in public ownership and the jobs guaranteed by the government. Given the public handouts and our crippling unemployment, this is more than fair enough.

‘We need governments state and federal willing to challenge the corporate elite; governments who make decisions in the interests of people and the planet, not profit’, Harrison concluded.

Harrison is a young worker in Wollongong and a member of the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association (SDA).

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