Liberal MP calls Tony Abbott a Liar!
In a strange twist Liberal MP Sharman Stone has accused the government of lying and of “blackening the name of SPC workers”. Tony Abbott, of course, laid the blame for SPC’s woes on the unions, greedy workers and their over-the top entitlements. But when you analyze the details, the accusations turn out to be completely untrue.
(See article in the age)
Only $116,400 of allowances were paid to workers in 2013, which accounts for 0.1 % of the total costs of goods. In addition, the average worker at SPC receives a yearly pay well under the national average for manufacturing.
Business Spectator’s Rob Burgess – one of the few commentators to correctly diagnose this issue – has today raised similar concerns:
” SPCA workers earning around $50,000 a year are being used as cannon fodder…
What is at risk now is what should be a large growth industry – innovative packaged fruit products with strong export outlooks. The industry around Shepparton looks likely to be shut down to allow the Abbott government to present a united front against the union moment…
While this decision was justified in terms of SPCA’s ‘excessive’ enterprise bargaining arrangements, the company’s workers are already receiving pay well below the average manufacturing wage ($67,000), and far below general full-time weekly earnings of $74,000…
The wages issue is a smoke-screen. ‘ (source: macrobusiness.com.au “The symbolic slaughter of SPC)
Instead, what is really to blame for Australia’s manufacturing woes are the high dollar and cheap imports. In the past, when Australia was a much smaller place, local manufacturing performed well, because it had no overseas competitors. Now, when demand is much higher than in the past, Tony Abbott clearly wants people to receive third world wages, so shareholders and CEO’s can line their pockets. Clearly there is something wrong with this picture.
This does not necessarily mean the government should pay for a bailout . Apart from the fact that Coca Cola does have enough money to bail out SPC itself, this would only be a band-aid solution, as company after company will fold under the current market conditions.
On the face of it there are only two solutions: create import tariffs (not likely to happen )or turn SPC into a worker’s co-op, or face facts that Australia will cease to be a manufacturing country .