The Guardian August 30, 2000


Bridgestone dumps tyres and jobs

Workers at the Bridgestone Tyre Plant in Salisbury, South Australia, 
have rejected job cuts announced by the company last week. At mass meetings 
the workers directed the Liquor, Hospitality and Miscellaneous Workers' 
Union (LHMU), which represents 520 production workers at the plant, to have 
the company justify its decisions to sack 120 workers.

The meetings heard reports on Bridgestone's Salisbury operation's 1999 $10 
million profit, of salary increases paid to five directors earlier this 
year totaling $269,000, and of how the parent company of Bridgestone 
Australia, the Bridgestone Corporation, recorded a profit of over $2 
billion last year.

The union said that the Bridgestone workers had strived for five years to 
improve the productivity and efficiency of the Salisbury operations and 
that the company's decision to lay off the workers because of a temporary 
profit downturn this year was not acceptable.

"LHMU members are particularly concerned about the fact that the main 
reason for job insecurity in the tyre manufacturing industry is the dumping 
of cheap imported tyres into Australia", said LHMU State Secretary Mark 
Butler.

"Indeed, the biggest importer of tyres into Australia is Bridgestone 
itself.

"We are sick to death of seeing South Australian jobs sacrificed simply to 
maximise the profits flowing back to the headquarters of multinational 
companies such as Bridgestone in Tokyo, New York or London."

Mr Butler said it was "about time that governments in this country did 
something to protect manufacturing jobs against the practice of dumping."

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