AMWU: Paragon workers “still owed $100,000” as job losses loom at South Pacific

Some 68 jobs are at risk at South Pacific Print Group (SPPG), said the union, while it has been revealed that the future of Moore Australasia’s neighbouring site is also in question.

There are 61 AMWU members at SPPG, and a further 10 at the Moore site, according to AMWU organiser Leigh Diehm.

SPPG’s parent company, Print Media Group (PMG), has said some workers may find roles at its other plants. But the union said it looks likely most Wodonga staff will lose their jobs.

Diehm told ProPrint: “To say we are disappointed is an understatement in the extreme.”

The attached Moore Australasia facility is also caught up in the situation. Moore chief executive David Glavonjic said: “We do have a warehouse and distribution in Wodonga. It employs about a dozen people and we are actively consulting with them in terms of reviewing our plans for that facility and will continue to do so.”

Although the Wodonga situation closely followed the loss of major Moore client Tabcorp, Diehm claimed: “The Tabcorp contract alone did not put these companies in this situation.”

Diehm added that the AMWU was still chasing entitlements of workers caught up in last year’s liquidation of Paragon Printing. “I have some members owed $100,000 and we are fighting that through the liquidation.

“It has been a double whammy for our members. They found the company put in to liquidation under the old legislation, so they got money out of the GEERS payment.”

One of the Gillard government’s election promises was the ‘Fair Entitlements Guarantee’, which protects redundancy pay for up to four weeks for each year of service, all annual leave, all long service leave, and up to three months in unpaid wages.

Diehm said: “If [the Paragon workers] had been in the same position in January this year instead of March last year, they would have received their whole entitlements under the new government entitlement scheme.”

He said it was unlikely union members would see a repeat of the “great result we got last time”, when Paragon workers were saved by the PMG buyout.

But he added: “We feel we still have a very crucial role to play on behalf of our members and we will do whatever we can.”

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