Release type: Media Release

Date:

Minister meets with Bridgestone workers

Ministers:

Senator the Hon Mark Arbib
Minister for Employment Participation
Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Government Service Delivery

Minister for Employment Participation Mark Arbib and South Australian Minister for Industrial Relations Paul Caica today visited Bridgestone’s Salisbury factory to talk to workers affected by the closure of the plant.

Senator Arbib said the Australian Government stood with its South Australian colleagues in its commitment to helping the workers who would lose their jobs.

“The Rudd Government and the South Australian Government have committed $5.7 million to helping the Bridgestone workers in this very difficult period,” Senator Arbib said.

“This morning Minister Caica and I met with Deputy Premier Kevin Foley and Minister for Employment, Training and Further Education Michael O’Brien to discuss the response on the ground and to make sure the State and Federal agencies which will help the workers are coordinated in their response.

“Workers made redundant by Bridgestone are eligible for employment assistance under the Automotive Industry Structural Adjustment Program, giving them immediate access to intensive employment services through Job Services Australia.”

Senator Arbib and Mr Caica were joined at the plant by Federal MPs Mark Butler, Nick Champion and Tony Zappia as well as officials from the four unions representing the workers.

Local Employment Coordinator Pippa Webb was also on hand and will play a key role in helping workers access Government services.

“It is important we all work together to help the Bridgestone workers as they transition into new jobs,” Senator Arbib said.

“Bridgestone has assured employees they will receive all of their entitlements. The Government and unions will work with the company to ensure this is the case.

“While the company has said employees will have jobs at the factory until early next year, it is important we start working now to help the workers prepare for that time.

“My Department has already been in contact with the company to inform workers of the assistance available to them and has offered to convene information sessions for workers on how they can manage their redundancy packages.

“Retraining is also available for workers to gain new skills for new job opportunities.”