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The Textile Clothing and Footwear Union of Australia (TCFUA) calls on the Napthine Government to make Victoria Police shirts in Victoria, not Bangladesh.
TCFUA National Secretary Michele O’Neil said the loss of 58 Australian Defence Apparel jobs in Bendigo and 14 in Coburg showed the local clothes manufacturing industry was crying out for work to stay afloat.
“Denis Napthine needs to change the current contract and tender requirements so iconic garments like Victoria Police shirts are made by Australian companies in Victoria,” Ms O’Neil said.
“The Premier needs to support the local industry, so clothing workers in places like Bendigo and Coburg can keep their jobs.
“Considering the recent exposure of appalling health and safety conditions in Bangladesh’s garment factories, it begs belief that the Premier hasn’t changed the tender policy requirements to ensure all Victorian services’ uniforms are made in Victoria.”
Ms O’Neil said she had contacted the Office of Police Minister Kim Wells but hadn’t received a satisfactory response.
“Minister Wells’s office tried to pass the buck and said it was a matter for the Police Commissioner,” Ms O’Neil said. “Kim Wells and Denis Napthine need to step up to the plate and resolve this issue. Workers’ livelihoods depend on it.”
Ms O’Neil said Dr Mike Kelly, the Federal Minister for Defence Materiel, was exploring with the TCFUA and Australian Defence Apparel whether there was potential to reduce the number of job losses.
“Mike Kelly has opened up a constructive dialogue and I call on Denis Napthine and Kim Wells to urgently do the same,” Ms O’Neil said.
Media contact: James McKenzie 0427 164 292.