|Issue No 85||23 February 2001|
Heavy Handed Tactics Leave Speedo Workers Exposed
By David Tritten
Speedo have announced they are ceasing manufacturing at Windsor with the loss of around 65 jobs with manufacturing tol be transferred to outside Australia .
The Union representing the workers at Speedo has condemned Speedo for failing to consult with the workers or their Union prior to announcing the termination of the employees. The National Secretary of the TCFUA, Mr Tony Woolgar, said, "the Enterprise Bargaining Agreement and the Workplace Relations Act 1996 required that the Company consult with the workers and their representatives prior to the announcement being made. The idea of this consultation period is to allow time for the workers and their representatives to discuss alternatives with the Company to sacking employees".
As it turned out the Company yesterday set in motion what appears to have been a carefully orchestrated plan to sack its employees. The surprise sackings follow reassurances from management that the workers jobs were safe. At 7.40 am yesterday management separated the employees it intended to sack from the few who will keep their jobs. Workers who were not sacked yesterday were put in the boardroom and a security guard was placed outside the door.
The manufacturing workforce were then rounded up and told by management (who read from a short prepared script) that they were terminated. Management then handed the meeting over to 'consultants' (who were brought in especially for the purpose). The so-called 'consultants' were left to hand out the letters of termination to the sacked workers. As the sacked workers left the factory many had their bags searched by security guards who had apparently been hired for the purpose.
Earlier today Union representatives were told by Speedo management that the Company would not guarantee that the workers who end up making Speedo gear from work contracted out would be paid award wages and conditions.
Mr Woolgar said that: "This issue of contracting out in the textile and clothing industry has given rise to exploitation of women and children in other circumstances and we believe that Australian consumers are concerned that the garments they buy are not being made by exploited labour.
If the Company are concerned to retain some of their manufacturing in Australia why don't they keep it in the factory where they can guarantee that proper wages and conditions will be provided to the workforce".
The Union will be commencing action against the Company in the Australian Industrial Relations Commission. The Union are seeking to have the sackings reversed until all alternatives to termination of employment are thoroughly explored.
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Last Modified: 15 Nov 2005