Union fears Holden glass imports could cause job losses

A key union says a move by car maker Holden to import automotive glass from Taiwan could cost up to 120 jobs in South Australia and Victoria.

The glass currently comes from Pilkington's at Geelong and Laverton, in Victoria, and is finished to Holden specifications at Pooraka, in Adelaide's north.The Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) SA secretary, Dave Kirner, warns that unless a new redundancy agreement with Pilkington's is settled quickly, strike action will follow.Mr Kirner says the factory at Pooraka will close with the loss of 20 jobs, unless new work can be found."But those talks have headed to the point where we served strike notices for Thursday and Friday, and there were some last minute attempts by the company to talk," Mr Kirner said.

"So delegates said 'well let's pull the industrial action off and let's give it one last chance', but the word that's coming back to us nationally is that the talks aren't really getting where they need to be."

He says the cost savings to Holden in sourcing its glass from offshore are clearly very attractive, due to the cheaper labor costs.

"In one of these plants we'd probably be on about a minimum of $650 to $700 a week, where as $US100 a month is the feedback we're getting in a lot of the Chinese factories, Taiwanese are a bit higher."

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