Tasmanian weaving factory to shut down

Australian Weaving Mills will close its factory in Devonport and move its manufacturing operations to its plant in Wangaratta, Victoria. 

The Mercury reports that the decision to close the factory will result in the loss of 50 jobs from the factory which has been in operation since 1952.

The company makes towels for a number of brands including Dri-Glo, Dickies, Esprit and Country Road. 

According to Australian Weaving Mills chief executive Geoff Parker, there will be a staged closure over the next six months.

As the ABC reports, the company was hoping that some staff would keep their jobs and be redeployed to Wangaratta. However, union delegate Rosemary Hudson says that idea has met with resistance from staff who don’t want to move.

Parker said that the idea of moving production overseas had been discussed and dismissed.

"Along with many other Australian manufacturers, AWM has faced increased pressure to remain profitable," he said.

"The downturn in retail consumer confidence in the past three years, increases in manufacturing costs related to a range of issues beyond the company's control and a persistently high Australian dollar have all contributed to the current situation."

The factory closure follows more bad news for Tasmania workers in recent weeks. Workers from ACL Bearings, Rio Tinto and Bradken have also lost their jobs.

Image: The Mercury