The Alliance Party says the closure of the Bruce Woollen Mill, formerly the Alliance Mill, is a sad day for Milton and Otago.
Alliance Party co-leader Kay Murray says the mill can’t compete with cheap imported clothing, some of it made no doubt with the very wool we export unprocessed from the farm gate.
“The imported clothing will be made by workers who have not got the power to insist on livable wages and safe working conditions.”
The closure of the mill represents all the reasons why people should not to vote for political parties still locked in to the failed policies of free trade and trickle down economics.
Under free trade all New Zealand can do is produce wool, meat and milk and send it overseas, says Ms Murray.
“Our deregulated economy has seen speculators push the price of land up so high we can no longer afford to even own the farms. Most of them are in the hands of overseas investors.”
John Key tells us National will build a strong economy. The Alliance has one question: how? A strong economy requires a full employment and a skilled well paid workforce.
National’s track record is not good. Free trade has all but destroyed our manufacturing base. Even Hillside workers were made redundant while government rolling stock contracts are sent offshore.
National’s election slogan is building a brighter future. The Alliance says another three years of a National/ ACT government and it will be a case of “would the last person to leave please switch the lights off”.
The recent history of the plant is a sad reflection on how National Party policies have devastated the provincial heartland of the South.
In 1992, when the mill was owned by Alliance Textiles, forty-nine workers were locked out for refusing to sign new employment contract agreements.
A group of 13 protested outside the mill gates and strike for the next six years, the longest strike in New Zealand trade union history.