Ending the local manufacturing of Huggies is a stupid decision for consumers, workers and the company behind Australia’s most-loved nappies, a union says.
Kimberly-Clark Australia will cut 220 jobs, close the Sydney plant that makes Huggies nappies and shift production to Asia by July.
“Production will move to Kimberly-Clark’s facilities in Asia, enabling faster access to the latest research and engineering advancements in nappies and pants,” the company said in a statement on Wednesday.
The move is part of the US corporation’s “global restructuring program”.
“All affected employees who leave Kimberly-Clark will be paid their full legal entitlements and redundancy pay.”
The union for the workers has refused to accept the decision and will try this week to convince management to go back on it.
“It’s a stupid decision for the company, for Huggies, for workers and for consumers,” CFMEU Manufacturing NSW district secretary Michael Aird told AAP.
“It isn’t in the interest of consumers.”
Huggies has topped Canstar Blue’s parent ratings for disposable nappies for the past two years.
“People pay a little extra because they know they have a product that is high quality,” Mr Aird said.
“I certainly know that as a parent of five kids who all grew up in Huggies.”
Mr Aird said the union wasn’t consulted before closure was announced and had indications the site was profitable.
He called on the Morrison government to consider intervening to support Australian jobs, whether through meetings with the company or more drastic action such as emergency tariffs.
Kimberly-Clark says it will continue to manufacture Kleenex, VIVA and Kimberly-Clark Professional products at its Millicent Mill in South Australia.