Government Still Missing In Action on Alcoa

Monday 12th May 2014

The Australian Workers Union (AWU) welcomes today’s announcement that Alcoa will contribute funds to help redundant workers, which comes after months of intensive union negotiation with the company.

AWU Victorian Assistant Secretary Liam O’Brien said the announcement highlighted the fact that State and Federal Governments were yet to contribute a single dollar to Point Henry workers’ welfare.

“Time is running out for the State and Federal Governments to step up and do something to help a huge group of Geelong workers who are already losing their jobs at an accelerating rate towards the July ‘D’ Day when everything shuts down,” Mr O’Brien said.

Alcoa’s $5 million to the Geelong Regional Innovation and Investment Fund was an important one, but the “sustainable jobs” the company suggested it would create were yet to manifest.

“We cannot afford to allow governments to play politics with the lives of its citizens. The Federal Labor Government response to  advance news of Ford’s intention to stop production was immediate, and the GRIIF was created,” he said.

“We have to see comparable thought and assistance for Alcoa workers.”

Mr O’Brien said it was still unclear how the $4 million in retraining allowances also announced today would be split between Point Henry and Yennora (NSW) where 180 workers were losing their jobs.

Negotiations with the company are continuing.