Support Pacific Brands Workers


The Pacific Brand workers are having a rally and it would be great to see some support from FairWear supporters!

Outside Myer in the Bourke St Mall

12 noon Thursday the 5th March

It would be great to see lots of solidarity.

“We don’t accept these jobs losses are inevitable. We are going to fight to save these jobs,” — Textile, Clothing and Footwear Union national secretary Michele O’Neil expresses dismay at Pacific Brands’ decision to slash 1,850 jobs.

Most of the people who stand to lose their jobs are migrant women who have worked for Pacific Brands for decades.

Liz Thompson

FairWear Victoria Campaign Co-ordinator

Level 3, 130 Lt Collins St, Melbourne


Ph:(03) 9251 5270

F:(03) 9251 5241

mob: 0421 979 694


2 thoughts on “Support Pacific Brands Workers

  1. Viola Wilkins says:

    Community radio station 3CR breakfast show did an interview about these plundered wage-slaves situation on Monday March 9th

    Subject: Drivetrain Update from the Border
    Date: 8 March 2009 8:10:50 PM

    On February 20th around 400 workers were sacked from Drivetrain
    International, a gearbox manufacturer in Lavington (Albury) on the
    border of NSW and Victoria without pay or entitlements of $25 Million,
    as management proceeds to strip the factory of an estimated $17 million
    in assets. 17 workers in it’s Springvale plant were also sacked. Some of
    the workers at Drivetrain have been there for 30 years. The factory is
    the only manufacturer of gear boxes in Australia, and was until the
    recent sackings the largest AMWU shop in the state.

    The administrator has announced that the payment of financial creditors
    comes before giving workers their due entitlements. DSI is insolvent
    owing the banks $40 million to $50 million and trade suppliers about $20
    million, while entitlements owed to all workers amount to $25 million
    and won’t be paid.

    The corporation has divided the workers, offering 131 continued
    employment from the 9th March, without specifying who they would be till
    a meeting on the 25th February in which workers received envelopes
    stating who was to be offered employment to ‘wind up the factory’ over
    an 8 week period. Management and executive staff however have been
    retained on full wages.

    The Federal Government will provide assistance for the workers through
    its General Employee Entitlements and Redundancy Scheme (GEERS), but it
    will not cover all of the $25 million they are owed.

    When the receivers met with the workers in Springvale on the 16th of
    February they advised the workers that there are 2 serious buyers that
    want to buy the business. They announced that both parties are
    interested in purchasing the intellectual property and the Tech Centre
    in Springvale. An executive Craig Mitchell has spent the last 5 weeks
    working on localization building transmissions in Korea and China.
    However the buyers are not interested in the Albury plant. On the 20th
    of February meeting at Springvale, Michael Turner stated that there
    would still be another at least 2 years of production in Albury until
    the localization programs kick in overseas.

    Workers speaking with members of the Australian section of the IWA
    (International Workers Association) stated, “During the meeting at
    Springvale on Friday 20th one of the workers asked Michael Turner (CEO)
    if he lost his house. He replied that he lost $380K and the Nathan Watts
    and Allan Morris each lost $200k. He also mentioned that Dale Linney
    lost $1 million.”

    One of the workers commented, “What really pisses me off is we have
    workers who will lose up to $100,000 in entitlements while Turner,
    Morris, Watts, Wirz, Gilcrist, Moery & Clare will only lose 25% of their
    investment in DSI. Turner announced to us that he will lose $380,000
    Morris Watts & Wirz will lose $200,000 he did not mention the others. So
    these cashed up directors who wasted money like they were printing it
    will still get 75% of their investment back from the sale of DSI.”

    The worker went on to say “We were told what the plans for the buyers
    are for Albury plant, not good. Both potential buyers want the
    intellectual property only.”

    Rumour from another worker is that “DSI purchased a brand new Ford
    Falcon to install a 6 Speed Rear Wheel Drive Automatic Transmission into
    it and then try to convince Ford Australia to purchase the DSI 6 Speeds
    Transmission. After Ford where not interested the car was used as a pool
    car for a while and then just disappeared from the workshop and from the
    books. This type of info needs to be leaked out and the administrators
    need to look deeper into it to see where the root problem for all of
    DSI’s problems is.”

    The Executives have only lost small amounts considering the amount of
    money invested in 2006. The corporation and it’s directors should not be
    able to gamble the workers entitlements and then just turn around and
    say, “your fired all the money is gone”.

    This raises the question that should be asked of John Lindholm and
    George Georges, being for confirmation that the Executives will be
    receiving 75% of their investments back from either the sale or the
    liquidation of the business.

    Another angry worker put forward what is the opinion of many, “When a
    company goes into administration. The workers, the administrator and
    government are the first in line creditors. Then other creditors and
    last of all share holders. How did the DSI Executives manage to back
    door getting money from the sale back for their investments above an
    beyong the monies owed to workers in pay and entitlements? This did not
    happen when ION went under. It must have something got to do with the
    previous government introducing GEERS.”

    Dave Error – ASF-IWA

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