Packaging giant Amcor will cut about 300 jobs at three manufacturing sites in Victoria and Queensland, blaming the high value of the Australian dollar and increasing cost pressures.
The managing director of Amcor Australasia, Nigel Garrard, said that ‘‘Amcor would take steps to realign its Australian operations to the challenging conditions facing all Australian manufacturers, resulting in approximately 300 redundancies’’.
Amcor will close a factory it runs in Thomastown in Victoria in July and outsource the work to another manufacturer. Workers at the factory make lids for sports drinks, bottles and jars, and seals for beer bottles.
The closure at Thomastown will also mean other job losses at an Amcor factory in Laverton North.
Mr Gerrard said there would be 80 redundancies at Thomastown and 17 at Laverton North.
‘‘Significantly increasing cost pressures and the continued strength of the Australian dollar have made it impossible for these sites to remain competitive,’’ Mr Garrard said.
Amcor told the Australian Securities Exchange in a statement this morning that the closure of the plant would cost it an initial outlay of $7 million, but deliver it profits before income tax of $5 million.
He said he regretted the redundancies, but that they were needed. ‘‘We must transform our Australian operations in order to remain a viable business for the long term.’’
The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union’s assistant secretary Leigh Diehm said the factory had supplied beverage seals to customers such as CUB for many years.
‘‘The announcement follows the purchase of CUB by [SABMiller] who has an established Italian supply chain for its can ends,’’ Mr Diehm said.
‘‘This was a highly skilled, dedicated and efficient site so the announcement is very disappointing,’’ Mr Diehm said.
He said the federal government’s manufacturing policy, unveiled on Sunday and designed to protect these sorts of jobs by asking companies to consider local alternatives to their global suppliers, was badly needed.