A community assembly was set up outside West Swanson Dock in Melbourne over night after word got out that Pacific Brands, manufacturers of the iconic Bonds label, was attempting to ship tax payer funded equipment out of the country.
TWU federal secretary, Tony Sheldon, said the government could prevent the job losses by using its buying powers to secure Australian jobs.
"What we have here is policy which exports Australian jobs and imports unemployment," Mr Sheldon said.
"The union completely understands the public outrage," said MUA National Secretary Paddy Crumlin. "They've taken taxpayer-funded machinery like thieves in the night. It's an outrage."
RTBU National Industrial Officer Andrew Thomas said workers would be gob smacked at Pacific Brand's action.
"Does Pacific Brands really think that Australian workers would enjoy standing on the shoreline waving their jobs good bye?" he said.
"We need governments at all levels to put in place conditions which ensure Australian workers are looked after when they spend our taxpayers dollars, " said Mr Sheldon.
The truck loaded with a 40-foot container was secretly delivered to the Melbourne wharves this morning and community protestors have assembled outside the gate.
12.30pm, Friday 29 May 2009
Gate E, DP World Terminal, Coode Rd, Swanson Dock, Melbourne
Paddy Crumlin, MUA National Secretary, 0418 379 660
Andrew Thomas, RTBU National Industrial Officer, 0409 120 737
Seth Tenkate, TWU Media and Communications Officer, 0408 463 199
Return Address: TWU, PO Box 649 Parramatta NSW 2124