Foundry to shut, jobs axed
AT LEAST five foundry workers have been laid off and a further 15 workers are believed to follow as Bundaberg Metal Industries prepares to shut its doors after 69 years.
A source close to a sacked worker said the five employees were shown the door two weeks ago - believed to be a day after the Norville foundry did its last metal pour, and following earlier lay-offs in October.
"Some of them have been there for 45 years - they don't know anything else," the source said.
It has also been alleged to the NewsMail that the company was not paying workers' redundancy packages.
"He didn't even shake their hands or say thank you - it was really bad," the source said.
The source also told the NewsMail the workforce had been reduced to about 15 employees, which meant the company could be classed as a small business.
"If they can bring their workforce down to under 15, they don't have to pay redundancies," the disgruntled source said.
It is understood the strong Australian dollar, combined with cheap imports from overseas has had an impact on the factory's operations.
Matt Beer, of Bundaberg Auctions, confirmed a "total clearance" auction would take place at the Melvin St foundry on December 10.
Equipment including two one-tonne electrical induction furnaces, a gas treatment furnace and a 350kg crucible are just some of the many pieces of equipment and machinery listed for sale.
It is believed the foundry will permanently close down shortly after the auction.
Since its beginnings in 1942, the Norville foundry has had a series of different owners.
The NewsMail tried several times to contact the current owners of the business yesterday regarding the closure and the redundancy allegations, but they did not respond.