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April 01, 2009
Article from: Australian Associated Press

MORE than 300 workers will finish up at Brisbane’s Fisher and Paykel refrigerator factory tomorrow, as the company prepares to shift operations to Thailand.

The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU) says the workers aren’t highly paid and the decision is disappointing especially given the amount of support the company’s been given.

“We’ve worked hard with Fisher and Paykel in the past to help them ensure profitability out of their Queensland operation,” AMWU Secretary Andrew Dettmer said.

“Fisher and Paykel has also received considerable assistance from both state and federal governments to ensure viability, but it looks like that was all in vain.

“It makes you wonder what it takes now to encourage these companies to keep their manufacturing operations in Australia,” he said.

Despite the layoffs, Mr Dettmer said the manufacturing industry in Queensland was actually growing, with 4000 jobs created last year.

“It’s just a shame that companies like Fisher and Paykel, which have built up a reputation based on being high-quality and locally manufactured, can’t see the value in retaining their local workforces.”

Fisher and Paykel will also close factories in the US and New Zealand, where it makes ovens and dishwashers.

Its manufacturing will move to Thailand and Mexico.

http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,25276976-5006786,00.html

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