Officials from the Liquor, Hospitality and Miscellaneous Workers Union have urged workers at Arnott’s biscuit factories to continue with a consumer boycott of the company’s products.
Around 200 of the firm’s workers accepted a redundancy package last week, after news on 2 May that the Melbourne factory would cease operations in September.
The union has continued with its campaign against the closure however, in a bid to lobby the Federal Government to protect Australian manufacturing. Union official Terry Breheny revealed the union hopes to collect around 10,000 signed postcards to urge Nick Minchin, federal minister for Industry, Science and Resources, to introduce industry policies that will ensure that national icon brands are not taken over by foreign companies.
Australian company Arnott’s is a subsidiary of US food giant Campbell Soup.
There is some debate however over the effectiveness of the boycott. Former premier Joan Kirner claimed that it had caused Arnott’s to cut production by 40%. From Arnott’s however, spokeswoman Anna Burr explained that the figure could have come from the fact that 40% of the products produced at the Melbourne plant were sold in Victoria. “Our output figure has not reduced by 40%,” she stressed.