Following the announcement in February this year of Pacific Brands decision to sack 1850 workers and move their clothing production off shore, unions warned the company not to attempt to move machinery bought with Australian Government subsidies out of the country.
“We understand that machinery from the Pacific Brands Holeproof factory in Nunawading was secretly moved off the site last night and is due to sail out of Australia to the Pacific Brands Berlei factory in Indonesia,” said Michele O’Neil, national secretary of the Textile Clothing and Footwear Union of Australia.
The Holeproof site in Nunawading employs more than 250 workers who are losing their jobs when this site closes in two months time.
“This company has received millions of dollars of government assistance and makes government uniform contracts. What is the Federal Government doing to save jobs?  Have they asked for the $17 million paid in the last two financial years to this company back? Have they reversed their intention to pay Pacific Brands another $7 million this year? Where are the government guarantees that companies receiving government funding and winning tenders for government procurement of goods are required to keep jobs in Australia and make government work here?” said O’Neil.
“Pacific Brands said they had no intention of moving machinery and now we find them trying to sneak these machines out of the country.
“Now is the time for the government to act, not just express sympathy,” she said.