Bonds, King Gee owner slashes 1,850 jobs – ABC News

25 Feb

Without venturing into the politics or economics of it or analysing it in any way, my gut reaction to this story is great sadness. Here go ordinary jobs for ordinary people. What indeed do they do now? There are not many ordinary jobs for ordinary people left.

Bonds owner and clothing manufacturer Pacific Brands says it will cut 1,850 jobs in Australia over 18 months after posting a $150 million first-half loss and suspending its dividend.

The cost-cutting will see Pacific Brands close the majority of its Australian clothing and manufacturing operations, discontinue small labels and brands, and sell properties or relocate.

The company’s brands include Bonds, Holeproof, Jockey, King Gee, Hard Yakka, Dunlop and Clarks.

A total of 1,200 manufacturing jobs and 650 non-manufacturing jobs will go.

The site hardest hit by the cuts will be the Hosiery factory in Coolaroo, Victoria, where 298 jobs have been lost.

Jobs will also go at Bonds plants in Wentworthville, Unanderra and Cessnock in New South Wales.

There will be more cuts at Holeproof in Nunawading, Victoria, King Gee in Bellambi, New South Wales, and CTE in Brisbane’s West End.

Off to China go the jobs. Admittedly most of them were there already, but you figure the multiplier effect of 1,850 jobs taking into account families involved.

A sad day.


7 responses to “Bonds, King Gee owner slashes 1,850 jobs – ABC News

  1. Benjamin Solah

    February 25, 2009 at 10:44 pm

    But see I doubt you can avoid analyzing the politics of it, even by simply commenting on the event. I doubt the jobs will go anywhere, let alone China. The jobs will just go.

    More of this to come, unfortunately. It seems I read about more sackings everyday.

  2. stormcentre

    February 26, 2009 at 12:28 am

    Hi Neil,

    Just came across your blog today.

    To my mind, the sad thing is not just that 1,850 jobs will be lost in Australia. What is much sadder is that the Chinese workers who will soon be labouring to make these products for Pacific Brands will be even more exploited than the Australian workers employed by Pacific Brands (much longer hours, much less pay, a much lower standing of living, etc.)

  3. Benjamin Solah

    February 26, 2009 at 8:48 am

    Just saw the news this morning where they did mention relocating; not like the articles I read yesterday.

    I’m wary that this can give ammo to the racists during these times (Pauline Hanson is running in the upcoming QLD election) and that we need to be vigilant against ideas that pit workers from one country against another.

  4. Neil

    February 26, 2009 at 10:35 am

    I held back on analysis because I simply wanted to register as uncontroversially as possible the human dimension.

    I may come back to it.

    I am “part of the problem” in this way. As a pensioner I recently had to replace my boots. I like elastic-sided boots because they are comfortable, last for a very long time, and are adaptable. So when I saw a Chinese pair for $29 at one of those dodgy fly-by-night places I went for them. They are comfortable etc… And they cost way less than the local product, assuming I could find such. In the past I was able to fork out $100+ to support local industry…

  5. Benjamin Solah

    February 26, 2009 at 10:39 am

    Come on Neil, it makes sense to buy the cheaper pair. If the Australian government wanted us to buy our more expensive brands, would they raise your pension so you could afford it, or raise the minimum wage of those poor apprentices that earn like $300 a week?

    It always seem a bit contradictory to me, they want us to spend but won’t pay us more.

  6. Neil

    February 26, 2009 at 10:49 am

    You can be sure there was a mark-up on the $29 boots, so the shop made a profit. The mind boggles at the amount the worker in China would have got. I am of course in favour of higher pensions, but the boot and shoe industry in Australia was by and large forced offshore in the 1980s because local wages and conditions made it uncompetitive with the imported product. Only niche products survived.

    The bigger scandal though was the expensive designer product (Adidas or Reebok for example) sold here with very high mark-ups though produced in highly exploitive conditions overseas.

  7. Benjamin Solah

    February 26, 2009 at 10:54 am

    For sure Chinese workers are exploited far more than most workers around the world.

    I just hope the result isn’t that people blame China for the sackings, but rather the bosses for only thinking about insane profits.

    The argument could be made from the ruling class that in order to remain competive, we need to smash unions to allow business to bring wages down to that of China.

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