Union officials say that the EDI rail manufacturing plant in Bathurst cannot be saved and will close by the end of the year.
The Western Advocate reports that the Australian Workers (AWU) and the Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union (AMWU) held a meeting with workers yesterday, followed by a meeting with senior management.
Following the meeting with management, Australian Workers’ Union NSW secretary Russ Collison told the Western Advocate that there was no possibility that the plant will remain open.
Saying that the decision to close the operation was made on economic grounds, Collison added that management had guaranteed that no-one would be made redundant until at least the end of December.
According to management, the company will save $6 million by closing the plant and focusing on its facility at Cardiff near Newcastle.
Tim Ayres from the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union told the ABC that 100 employees from the Bathurst operation will be offered relocations or redundancies.
"This is a key facility for the economic development of the region, it's provided good jobs to many hundreds of people over the course of the last 40 or so years and it's a real shame that Downer EDI have made this decision," he said.
According to Ayres, these may not be the only job losses from the Central West region in the near future. The Simplot food manufacturing plant in Bathurst and the Electrolux plant in Orange also have uncertain futures.
"So we've got to fight for every job that we can get in the Central West,” Ayres said.
"The New South Wales Government is really going to need to step up to the plate and make sure that they are part of the solution."