I am writing this starting without a heading, I am hoping it will come to me as I go but I want to talk about retrenchment and Holden closing in Australia. I agree it’s sad an “icon” gone from our shores but I am a little over the media coverage and the tales of sadness and woe. We are hearing about 30+ year employees being without work, supply chain and ancillary companies telling us they will close. We are watching these awful politicians blaming each other for this, I would like them to stop it, isn’t it time to Govern our country?
All that money millions & millions in fact $2.1Billion dollars over the last 12 years from the Government and then they asked for more and they never diversified, never changed the model of car to be made and employed the select few. They were importing parts and sold 82,000 cars this year at less than the cost of production. Really this was a business on its knees years ago. Watching our Premier, it is almost farcical blaming the Federal Government, they need to look at the state of the economy, cars are an expensive purchase and with the cost of living especially in Australia, people I know want value for money, like clothing & other items purchasing a car is rarely done without research and yes cost does come into it.
Look at the business model that Holden presented, they wanted more money to remain here, they have not updated the plant they just used the money to stay in existence, how did that help the economy? They asked their workers to take pay cuts over 12 months ago, surely this was the writing on the wall. There was no change in-car model being produced, no rethinking the downturn and making cars that people could afford and wanted to buy. Then we hear that there was a large-scale and long-term ‘stealing and selling of engines’ not just one but several that went unchecked and undetected for a long period of time.
Living in South Australia it is the most taxed state in Australia it didn’t make sense to keep putting money in, the State can not afford it and relied on Federal money, who looked at the figures and went, we need a business case to justify the amount they were asking for. Surely this makes good business sense, these weren’t short or long-term loans, there were ‘incentives’ from where I sit more like subsidies. Nothing to pay back, no justification of where the money was being spent, they just stuck their hands out and the money was placed in it, unthinkable. Surely the Premier could get out there and say well “it’s sad but we have Homeless, Aged, Disabled, unemployed that we can support with that money or perhaps look to reducing our electricity bills and water rates”. That will not happen, all we are hearing is the ‘blame game’. Imagine what could have been done with $2.1 Billion dollars in the Australian Economy not just going to one company.
Now the decision has been made we are bombarded with the names, faces and voices of those workers who are going to be out of work, they will be retrenched once the plant closes. We are talking in 4 years time mind you, 4 years!! I don’t know many people who have been retrenched, fired, made redundant, terminated or given notice, never alone 4 years, it normally is a matter of minutes or perhaps hours. These people have ample opportunity to find work, they are going to be given money to retrain, go to TAFE, learn other skills and this seems to be lost on the sensationalism of “Holden to close” I guess it doesn’t make news worthy stories. There will be many that will leave with very generous financial packages for all their years of loyalty.
I wish all of the workers well and hope they take advantage of the offers on the table to be retrained, as for the news grabs, please move on, I’m a little over it all, they have 1461 days to work, earn a living, retrain and look for employment. Now I have found my title A 4 Year retrenchment notice is that not enough?