Fed govt will support sacked Ford workers
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MELBOURNE, Nov 16 AAP
November 16 2012, 3:32PM
The Australian government will do everything it can to support sacked Ford workers, federal Treasurer Wayne Swan says.
Mr Swan told reporters in Melbourne his thoughts went out to workers affected by Ford's decision to axe 212 jobs at its two Victorian plants.
"The government will do everything it possibly can through our programs to assist those workers," he said.
The workers at the Broadmeadows and Geelong plants found out their fate on Friday, after the company received a $103 million assistance package, including $34 million from the federal government.
When asked if the package was a good investment, Mr Swan said the government had been working hard with the auto industry to secure its place in the global supply chain.
"That's what we're working on and that's what we'll continue to work on," he said.
"We will never give up supporting Australian workers and ensure we've got competitive Australian industry.
"We're proud of what we've done over a long period of time to support the auto industry in this country."
Mr Swan attacked remarks by opposition treasury spokesman Joe Hockey that Australian car makers are not producing vehicles consumers want.
"I heard some really derogatory comments from Mr Hockey today. I just say to Mr Hockey, `have a bit of heart'.
"The fact is we do produce a good product in this country and it employs tens of thousands of Australian workers.
"I respect the hard work that they've put in and I believe that other people in the political system ought to do the same and not be out there talking down the industry."