Like what you've read?

On Line Opinion is the only Australian site where you get all sides of the story. We don't
charge, but we need your support. Here�s how you can help.

  • Advertise

    We have a monthly audience of 70,000 and advertising packages from $200 a month.

  • Volunteer

    We always need commissioning editors and sub-editors.

  • Contribute

    Got something to say? Submit an essay.

 The National Forum   Donate   Your Account   On Line Opinion   Forum   Blogs   Polling   About   
On Line Opinion logo ON LINE OPINION - Australia's e-journal of social and political debate


On Line Opinion is a not-for-profit publication and relies on the generosity of its sponsors, editors and contributors. If you would like to help, contact us.


RSS 2.0

Holden job spin hits the skids

By Malcolm King - posted Tuesday, 3 December 2019

Holden and the South Australian government have been doing burn-outs with the truth, as their dodgy claim that 80 per cent of former Elizabeth plant workers have found secure jobs, blows a head gasket.

An Australian Manufacturing Workers' Union (AMWU) survey commissioned by the Marshall Government and buried until now, shows that of the 745 former Holden workers surveyed, only 193 (34 per cent) had found secure, fulltime work.

This figure corresponds with the Adelaide Mitsubishi closure in 2008.


Only 5 per cent of those 745 former GM workers, found a job with the same or better pay and conditions than Holden. The survey found 132 were unemployed.

Professor John Spoehr, Director of the Australian Industrial Transformation Institute in Adelaide, said in The Australian (July 14, 2018), "… we don't know exactly how many people have gone into full-time, part-time, casual work or self-employment - that's one of the flaws in the data."

The main flaw was the Marshall Government buried the truth.

After Holden closed, the state government, Holden spin doctors and sections of the media, took comfort in the moderate rise of the local ABS unemployment figures.

They hailed the supposed migration of workers in to new jobs, as a major success.

There are three reasons why the unemployment figures did not skyrocket:

  • Many former Holden workers did not immediately look for another job. Because they were not looking for a job, they failed the ABS survey definition of being unemployed.
  • Because some found temporary work, such as helping a mate on a mowing round or doing casual bar work, they were also not classified as unemployed. Holden counted them as gainfully employed.
  • Thirdly, some left the state.

In Victoria, the AMWU tracked hundreds of workers one year after the closure of Ford and Toyota. One in five of the laid-off employees who wanted to continue working, was jobless.

Of those who have managed to land new jobs, only a minority – 45 per cent – were hired on a full-time permanent basis. Many had been through one or more jobs since their retrenchment, the research found, while angst over job insecurity and financial pressure was rife.

  1. Pages:
  2. Page 1
  3. 2
  4. All

Discuss in our Forums

See what other readers are saying about this article!

Click here to read & post comments.

12 posts so far.

Share this:
reddit this reddit thisbookmark with Del.icio.usdigg thisseed newsvineSeed NewsvineStumbleUpon StumbleUponsubmit to propellerkwoff it

About the Author

Malcolm King is a journalist and professional writer. He was an associate director at DEEWR Labour Market Strategy in Canberra and the senior communications strategist at Carnegie Mellon University in Adelaide. He runs a writing business called Republic.

Other articles by this Author

All articles by Malcolm King

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Article Tools
Comment 12 comments
Print Printable version
Subscribe Subscribe
Email Email a friend

About Us Search Discuss Feedback Legals Privacy