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Ipswich workers face sack days before Xmas

16/11/2010 1:27:01 PM

A manufacturing business west of Brisbane will close its doors, leaving more than 140 staff out of work just days before Christmas.

Ipswich-based Australian Hardboards will shut down on December 17 after operating in the city for more than 50 years.

Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU) Queensland secretary Andrew Dettmer said the business was the victim of the "perfect storm".

"There's been a downturn in manufacturing because of the high Australian dollar, a downturn in the domestic construction industry... as well as high energy prices," he said.

"It's a real shame (the business) was being beaten up by imports as they were a good employer that had a good relationship with us."

He appealed to local employers to help find jobs for 145 workers.

"We've had assurances from company that all their entitlements will be paid so at least that's some good news," he said.

Ipswich mayor Paul Pisasale said it was a "gut-wrenching" development, saying more jobs had been lost as a result of cheap overseas imports.

"Recently Bradken Industries announced jobs were going offshore, and now after more than 50 years Ipswich will lose Australian Hardboards due to cheap imported products flooding the market," he said.

"Australia must re-examine why we allow cheap overseas imports to destroy jobs."


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