The Coca-Cola plant in South Australia has announced on Wednesday that it will close its facilities in 2019. This would result in 180 employees and contractors losing their jobs.
Shutting down the facility is due to the constraints of the Thebarton plant, Coca-Cola Amatil Group managing director Alison Watkins said. This would ensure the company’s position in the market in the future, news.com.au reports.
“The review found that further development of our factory at Thebarton in South Australia was constrained its CBD location, site layout, dated infrastructure and expensive logistics,” Watkins explained. “We will therefore be closing our South Australia manufacturing facility, principally at Thebarton, in 2019.”
Watkins also added that they are not taking the decision lightly, but are ensuring that the new changes will “be important for ensuring our position in the market into the future.” He also acknowledged the hard work and commitment of the “manufacturing team in South Australia.”
The decision to close the Thebarton factory comes after the company has revealed that it lost profit last year. The closure would save Coca-Cola $20 million in cost savings from 2020. This would help in the company’s attempt to save $100 million over the next three years in its Australian facilities.
After the meeting, the staff was not required to return to work. Meanwhile, all casual employees of the plant were asked to go home on Tuesday. Thebarton’s manufacturing operations will be moved to Richlands in Queensland. According to the company, it will invest a total of $90 million to the facility.
Premier Jay Weatherill said the State Government was open to providing Coca-Cola support to remain in South Australia, the ABC stated. However, he admits that closing the factory was inevitable. There could have been an offer of land to keep the manufacturing in the state, he adds. But the government had no contact with the company before the decision to close the plant.
“We’re pretty disappointed about that but we also note their observation that there’s no level of support that the Government could have offered that would have changed their position,” added Weatherill. One of the plant’s employees has expressed his opinion about the decision.
According to Gino Gaddi, he and his colleagues were shocked. Gaddi is doubtful about his future employment. “We knew something was going on, you know you can tell, but we thought maybe a few [production] lines that were not efficient enough, but overall it’s a big shock.”