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Fibre optic manufacturing in crisis

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Telecomms components manufacturing in Australia is in crisis with ADC Australia adding to the list of high-profile manufacturers to move offshore.

Having already dumped 300 workers as a result of the worldwide telecommunications downturn, the company has threatened to ship the remaining 200 jobs to Thailand as part of a massive restructuring process, according to Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union Canberra organiser Janet Bourke.

“ADC has already dumped hundreds of skilled workers and is now looking to ship the rest of the jobs offshore,” Bourke said.

“Unless governments stand up for Australian jobs, we’re going to see high-tech manufacturing disappear altogether from this country.”

ADC Australia has had a number of previous owners in its 18-year history, including BHP and Australian Optical Fibre Research, before it was sold to the American company of the same name.

The plans come after JDS Uniphase announced plans to close its Sydney-based communications manufacturing plant and relocate the capacity to China.

In a similar story to ADC, numbers at the JDS facility have recently dwindled from more than 330 in June 2001 to approximately 104 just one year on.

Staff at the plant were told the company would probably move the labour-intensive operation to Shenzhen at the end of the year because of the lower labour rates in China.

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