Rafter rejects union plea and extends Bonds deal

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Rafter rejects union plea and extends Bonds deal

Former tennis star Pat Rafter has rejected an appeal by the union covering Bonds clothing workers in Australia, and has re-signed his sponsorship with the company.

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Former tennis star Pat Rafter has rejected an appeal by the union covering Bonds clothing workers in Australia, and has re-signed his sponsorship with the company.
 
Last month, Bonds owner — Pacific Brands — announced it was sacking 1850 workers and taking its clothing manufacturing overseas. Pacific Brands makes such labels as King Gee, Berlie and Dunlop Sport.
 
‘Shocked at decision’: union
 
Textile Clothing and Footwear Union (TCFU) national secretary Michele O'Neil, who pleaded with Rafter to sever his deal with Bonds earlier this year, said she was ‘shocked’ with his decision.
 
‘Pat Rafter hasn't even bothered to respond to our calls to talk to the workers and the union about Pacific Brands sacking nearly 2000 Australian workers,’ she said.
 
‘For him to sign on another contract and promote their goods without even taking the time to hear the devastating impacts the job losses are having on those workers shocks me.’
 
O’Neil said most Pacific Brands employees earned between $30,000 and $35,000 a year and Rafter's decision to stay with the company helps them ‘hide the fact they have no commitment to make their product in Australia.’
 
Plea over jobs
 
The TCFU had pleaded with Rafter in a letter to cut his ties with Bonds until the company reversed their decision to send 1850 jobs offshore.
 
But the two-time US Open winner and former Australian of the Year said he had no plans to split from the company.
 
He joined Bonds in 2002 with a contract deal believed to be worth more than $150,000 a year.
 
‘All the research I have done into it and talking to both sides of it ... it's not hard to stick by them,’ Rafter said.
 
‘Bonds have been very good to me and I will continue to serve my loyalty to them. I was very happy to take a pay cut.’
 
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