Please enter your email address to change your password.

The portal is unavailable for SA members. Please click here to visit the SA website.

Rocla’s lazy decision to shut viable factory breaks western Sydney hearts 

April 24, 2020

The Australian Workers’ Union has slammed as ‘lazy and unnecessary’ the decision to shut Rocla’s concrete pipe factory in Emu Plains and has taken the matter to Fair Work Australia.

Rocla management, overseen by the New Zealand-owned Fletcher Building Group, told 94 workers at the Emu Plains facility they no longer had jobs without any consultation or negotiation to keep the factory operational. The facility has been running from Emu Plains for over 50 years.

AWU National Secretary Daniel Walton said both the decision itself, and the way it way it was made, was disgraceful.

“At a time when Australians should be pulling together to get through this crisis, Rocla management have chosen the lazy, heartless option,” Mr Walton said.

“Chalk this up as one of the most gutless company decisions we’ve seen during the COVID crisis. There has been zero consultation and no attempts to facilitate a solution that can keep the doors open. We have taken the matter to the Fair Work Commission because we believe Rocla has breached its legal obligations to consult.

“We just don’t understand how Rocla have made this decision. There are companies big and small who would be in a much tougher positions than Rocla and they have come up with ways to keep operating and keep people employed.

“Fletcher Building Group, via Rocla, have managed Emu Plains terribly. COVID-19 could actually be seen as an opportunity for this company. Governments at state and federal level will be looking to huge infrastructure builds soon and they will be keen to source local products. But Rocla management has been wilfully blind to the opportunity. No genuine consultation or discussion has taken place regarding Rocla’s suitability for getting the JobKeeper payment, for example.

“We are baffled at Rocla’s decision not to apply for further government assistance, or low interest loans, to assist the Emu Plains site remain viable.”

Loading cart ⌛️ ...