Finger pointing won't help Electrolux workers

ORANGE City Council general manager Garry Styles supports the need for a “restructure package” for Electrolux’s redundant workers, but has launched a veiled attack at a local union group’s call for a multimillion rescue package to cope with the job losses.

Mr Styles said finger pointing and funding speculation would not deliver a post-Electrolux strategy for the 544 workers or the city.

“Simply announcing that someone should do something and then attaching a $200 million to $300 million price tag is not a plan,” he said.

His comments are understood to be in response to a suggestion from the Central West Community Union Alliance’s Joe Maric that the state and federal governments should give more than $200 million to Orange, Blayney and Cabonne councils to expand their infrastructure workload and employ the redundant Electrolux workers.

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Mr Styles said all levels of government, other stakeholders, and Electrolux’s head office had a role in making sure there was a pathway for the Electrolux workers and ensuring the continued prosperity of the city.

But as it was less than two months since Electrolux announced the plant closure, Mr Styles said there was more work needed to determine the shape and size of a restructure package.

“The uncertainty is understandable, but the aim here is getting it right not grabbing the next headline,” he said.

“If this process does not result in a restructure package that delivers for the workers and the city, Orange City Council will stay in the fight. But let the work be done. Let the various parties undertake the assessments.”

Mr Styles said the council would spend $1.1 million over the next 10 years on a post-Electrolux strategy to be released in the first half of next year.

The strategy aims to create more jobs, identify options for a whole of government and private sector solution to jobs creation, provide the framework for jobs-related assistance programs, find funding and grants opportunities, and identify expansion opportunities for new and existing businesses.

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