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Australia - Bradken and union to meet over foundry pay fight

Bradken also has sites in nine other countries, including the United States and the United Kingdom.

But Mr Brown and his workmates are most worried about Asian sites.

"They're totally ignoring us and sending all the work overseas to China and Malaysia," he said.
'Training away their jobs'

Australian Workers' Union official Joe Kane shares the concern.

"I've been telling guys here for six months now that the guys who actually go to China to train the Chinese to start up the Chinese operations are actually training away their jobs to China," he said.

"Work has already gone. Work has gone to Malaysia, now to China."

Car components makers have been warned their future depends on other finding other manufacturing opportunities, such as for the mining industry.

The director of Centre for Labour Research at Adelaide University, Patrick Wright, agrees that also applies for companies such as Bradken.

"The existence of some companies that do make components for the mining industry suggests that it's certainly possible, so there have been some opportunities at least to establish companies making mining components, but most of the long-established mining companies have arrangements in place with overseas component suppliers," he said.

"It's not quite as urgent as it has become in auto components, with the announced closure of Ford in a few years' time."

He warned that switching to new types of production was not something companies could achieve within a few months.

"It's something that will need continued pressure to succeed, but when you're in dire straits and you don't have many chances at advancing the industry then naturally enough you deal with what you've got," he said.

No one from Bradken has been available for an interview but a spokesman says the company has been manufacturing in Adelaide since the 1950s and plans to keep doing so.

Source: Opens external link in new windowabc.net.au

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