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Saturday, December 20, 2008

BlueScope must open its books by Socialist Alliance


Socialist Alliance has condemned the axing of contract positions at BlueScope Steel at Port Kembla that will see hundreds of workers out of work by Christmas.

Chris Williams, Illawarra convener of Socialist Alliance, said: “BlueScope is crying poor and blaming the global economic crisis. But these ’cost cutting’ plans were likely to be already in place, the economic crisis is just a convenient excuse to ram them through. What a disgrace to treat workers this way in the lead up to Christmas.

“Let BlueScope Steel open its books so employees and the community can see for themselves. If the company really is in trouble the government should put it in public hands and guarantee the jobs of workers involved”, he said.

“This is another case of working people paying for a crisis they didn’t create. BlueScope Steel has just reported a whopping $430 million profit for the last quarter, and yet they are insisting on putting workers out of work. It’s unacceptable. The government should demand the books be opened before any more workers are forced to join the dole queues.

“This financial crisis has seen governments bail-out the banks and multi-national corporations; now it’s time the government stepped up and supported those who actually deserve it — the workers who are the victims of the crisis”, Williams said.

“Every time there’s a recession, workers and the local economy gets hit. It happened in 1982-83, 1991 and now it’s happening again. The Socialist Alliance calls on the steel industry unions to do everything in their power to stop this latest attack on jobs, livelihoods and the Illawarra community.”

[For more information contact Chris Williams 0425 329 963 or visit http://www.socialist-alliance.org/].

From: Australian News, Green Left Weekly issue #777 3 December 2008.

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