WOOLWORTHS is poised to announce a deal with China’s textile industry that will see the iconic company cut about 1,000 jobs in Australia and move production to Shanghai, in what the retailer’s chief executive Mark Noll says is the biggest cut in its manufacturing footprint in the country.
Key points:Woolworths said the deal would bring the company’s total Australian manufacturing footprint to more than 1,100 locationsThe company will relocate 2,000 workers to ShanghaiChina has been the biggest growth market for Australian textile exports for decadesNow, the deal is likely to fuel growing opposition to the Turnbull government’s plans to reduce Australia’s reliance on imports.
The announcement is likely in response to strong demand from Chinese textile exporters, including textile giants such as China Textile and Suntec, who are keen to expand their operations.
Mr Noll said Woolworth would cut about 700 jobs across Australia and relocate 2 of its 2,100 workers to a Shanghai plant.
“We have a significant amount of global supply and we have to be more competitive with the rest of the world,” he said.
“The decision to move our operations overseas is about being able to move forward with a stronger balance between supply and demand in our supply chain and also ensure we have the best available workforce to support the global expansion of the company.”
He said the company would have to find new manufacturing jobs in China and other Asian countries as it expands.
“It’s really important that we are a globally competitive company, so that we can deliver our products and services and be able to attract the best and brightest to our Australian operations,” he told AAP.
The move follows Woolworth’s decision to close more than 700 manufacturing jobs and shift some manufacturing to China, which has been a growing market for the retailer.
Woolies chief executive John O’Sullivan said Woolies would continue to invest heavily in Australian manufacturing, which he said was the “biggest growth market in the world”.
“The demand for our products in China is huge, and we’ve been building on that relationship for the last two decades,” he explained.
“Woolsworths has invested in manufacturing in Australia for over 100 years and will continue to do so.”
Mr O’SULLIVAN said Wools planned to continue to grow in the Chinese market and to grow its Australian business through overseas acquisitions.
“As we’ve said from the outset, we’re not going to rest on our laurels.
We’ll continue to be focused on delivering a world-class product in a global market,” he added.”
What’s happening around the world is that there are more and more products that are made in China, and that means that we have a lot more opportunities for expanding our business.”
Topics:business-economics-and-finance,corporate-governance,industry,international-trade,calls,industries,global-trade-organisations,industrial-production,industrys-union,jobs,housing,workers,business-group,industrials,trade,industral-competitiveness,trade-unions,industrey-union-act,business,housing-industry-and/or-industries-and%E2%80%99-industrys,state-parliament,australia,qld,china,liverpool-2135First posted March 06, 2020 13:27:38Contact Brett O’ConnellMore stories from Queensland