Alcoa denies Geelong workers misled over plant closure

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Alcoa denies Geelong workers misled over plant closure

Alcoa is denying it told its workers at the Geelong aluminium plant that their jobs were safe, after union claims that the workers had been misled.

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Alcoa is denying it told its workers at the Geelong aluminium plant that their jobs were safe, after union claims that the workers had been misled.

Alcoa has announced that the future of the 50-year-old plant is being reviewed, and that there are no guarantees it will continue beyond June.

Australian Workers Union state secretary Cesar Melham said workers had lost faith in the company.

‘Dodged a bullet’

‘Workers were angry that three weeks ago one of the senior managers on site had told them it “looks like we’ve dodged a bullet”,’ he said.

‘They were told they needed to improve processes to achieve 95% efficiencies and they were working towards that and making real progress.’

However, an Alcoa spokeswoman denied the workers had been betrayed, saying managers were given strict notes about what to say to workers following plant closures in Europe and the United States.

She said no commitments were made in emails to workers about those changes.

Heated meeting
 
The matter was disputed at a heated meeting between union delegates and Alcoa management yesterday.

In January, the company closed two plants in Italy, one in Spain and another in Tennessee (United States), as it slashed high-cost operations.

Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu will meet Alcoa Australia managing director Alan Cransberg today to discuss options to keep the Geelong plant open.

He has not ruled out offering government cash, following similar help to Ford and ongoing discussions with Holden.

‘Any state government has limited capacity, but we are here to support industry in whatever way we can,’ Baillieu said.
 
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