Published: 23 Feb 2018
The CFMEU has called on Kimberly-Clark Australia (KCA) to make a long-term commitment to continuing its operations in the South East so that workers and their families and communities can look forward a secure future.
The Union is deeply concerned that, not only is KCA management not prepared to commit to the ongoing viability of the plant beyond this year, but that workers are being coerced into signing a proposed agreement with the threat of job losses hanging over their heads.
KCA has circulated an agreement to be voted on with no consultation with the Union or its members and they have done this against the backdrop of a recent of global company wide cuts.
The company is asking workers to make sacrifices but they won’t even commit to a future for the plant beyond this year. These workers have not had a pay increase for over 4 years.
Threatening workers with their jobs if they refuse to sign a proposed agreement is clearly not bargaining in good faith.
The mill is the largest single employer in the region employing over 400 people directly and over 3,000 indirectly. Its closure would result in the devastation of the town of Millicent and severe impacts on the economy of the remainder of the South East.
We therefore call on all parties currently campaigning in the South Australian election to commit to ensuring the viability of the mill and to guarantee an ongoing role for the major employer in the South East, regardless of Kimberly-Clark Australia’s intentions.
The incoming SA Government will need to look at a range of proposals to save these jobs and communities, which will need to include plans to support the workforce at Kimberly Clark to ensure that firstly all efforts are made to secure those local jobs and secondly a program of government and private sector investment in the establishment of high technology manufacturing of forestry products enabling downstream processing locally to reduce the hundreds of thousands of tonnes of pulp logs and woodchips currently being exported.