“This did not have to happen. We knew heading into the election that the coalition had plans to remove co-investment, but the entire industry hoped they would see sense and the impact of their decision.
“The government has failed to come to its senses.
"This is a devastating day for jobs in Australia.
“We’re looking at as many as 50,000 people who are directly employed in the car industry in Australia.
“This will punch a $21 billion dollar hole in the economy.
"There is no doubt that the Abbott Government's lack of commitment to provide support for the car industry has lead to Holden's decision to cease manufacturing in Australia.
"Prime Minister Abbott has the redundancies of 50,000 workers and their families on his hands.
“It is absolutely disgusting that this government in just a few months has caused so much damage to so many people.
“This is economic and social vandalism from the Abbott government that has led to this decision by Holden.
“Right now though, all of our thoughts and actions are with the workers who are going to be directly impacted by the political actions of the Coalition. moreAs someone who spent most of my working life being represented by industrial unions, particularly in the more recent times with the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union, I am appalled, absolutely appalled, at the behaviour of the Abbott Gov. We had the sight of our treasurer in parliament daring Holden to leave. This was just the tip of the iceberg.
Behind the scenes the AMWU has been working furiously to save Holden, to the point of sending a delegation to Canberra the other week to put their case. The reality was that you can't have a car industry without gov co-investment. No country in the world makes cars without gov assistance. In fact Australia's assistance is by world standards very low. But don't let the facts get in the way of ideology.
All we get from this gov is union bashing and blame. "Union bosses! Union bosses! Union bosses..." Apparently according to them the demise of Holden is all to be blamed on union bosses. Never mind that unions were willing to sit down and negotiate in good faith with the company for productivity outcomes (by the way how much do the Holden executives get paid?). The gov stuck to it's ideology (whatever that is, maybe "wreck the place"?) despite only a relatively small amount of money over time needed to save the industry and keep it viable. Despite warnings (from what appears to be more intelligent people than the gov, namely unions representing the workers involved in the industry) that Holden would go whilst the gov stood by and did nothing.
Arrogantly claiming they had some kind of ideological truth that none of us appeared to possess. Particularly those who are now going to lose their jobs. Evidently the Abbott gov still believes in the capitalist extremes that bought on the GFC and the US living in that nightmare.
And what happened? Holden is pulling out of Australia. So folks, how many of those workers voted for Abbott? Think of this next time you go into the polling booth. Yep, you won't have a job, but we'll all drown in pollution as well without a carbon tax. Is it time for the Governor General yet?