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Issue # 1400      25 February 2009

Fosters’ workers fight on

One hundred workers made redundant by Fosters last week have vowed to fight for their jobs, saying they do not accept the company’s decision.

AMWU Victorian organiser Chris Spindler said the redundancies were announced without any warning.

“The workers had no idea this was coming. They’re pretty disgusted about how it was done and the fact that neither the union or the workers were consulted.

“It came completely out of the blue.”

Mr Spindler said the decision has already sparked outrage in the community and many people cannot understand how a company that made $713 million profit in the last financial year is forcing workers to go.

There have been some vague undertakings that Labour Hire company ABB may re-employ a small number of those made redundant, although Mr Spindler says no assurances have been given.

“They might hire a very small number of people although nothing’s certain. And they will be employed on lower pay and on lesser conditions.”

A meeting of the workers resulted in a decision to fight for their jobs.

“They do not accept that their positions have to be made redundant and they are launching a community and union campaign to fight for their jobs,” he said.

“They feel that there’s no financial justification for this decision.”

Mr Spindler said that a number of companies were likely to use the global financial issue to downgrade wages and conditions or force redundancies, even though their performance may not be affected by the crisis.    

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