Coca-Cola workers in Adelaide are in shock after the company announced it would close its South Australian manufacturing facilities in 2019.
Workers attended the Thebarton factory at 8:00am for the announcement, after shifts were cancelled and casuals stood down.
About 150 people are employed at the facility, one of six of the company’s bottling plants in Australia.
In a statement to the ASX, Coca-Cola Amatil saidthe closure of the Thebarton facility would deliver the company a further $20 million in cost savings from 2020.
Managing director Alison Watkins said the company had identified consolidation opportunities across its Australian supply chain.
“This is not a decision that we take lightly, however we know we must modernise and invest in new capability,” she said.
The company in October last year announced it would invest $75 million in consolidating its sites in Brisbane, with a new warehouse facility at its Richlands plant.
“Additional capacity will be developed at Richlands, with a further $90 million investment to install a new glass production line and new dairy and juice production capacity,” Ms Watkins said.
‘Who is going to employ me?’
Worker Gino Gaddi said workers were disappointed.
“The main mood is just shock,” he said.
“We knew something was going on, you know you can tell, but we thought maybe a few [production] lines that were not efficient enough, but overall it’s a big shock.”
He said some workers had only started at the factory a month ago.
Mr Gaddi said he would think about what was next for him.
“[I’m] 58, who is going to employ me? There are youngsters around that will do a good a job as me.”
He said the plant had not been running efficiently for a few years and he understood the company was protecting profits and shareholders.