Vic Labor would boost Ford assistance package

A future Victorian Labor government would provide Ford workers a $30 million assistance package to equip them for new jobs when the company closes its car plants in 2016.

AAP reports that Victorian Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews pledged to match the federal government's $30 million package, while visiting workers at Ford's Broadmeadows plant on Monday.

The pledge follows last week’s news that Ford will discontinue all car manufacturing in Australia in 2016 and, as a result, 1200 jobs will be lost at the company’s Broadmeadows and Geelong plants.

Andrews claimed that the $9 million offered by Victorian Premier Denis Napthine is an insult to those workers.

"There are grave fears that only a $9 million contribution from the state will not see these hardworking Victorians get the additional training they need so that the Ford job they had so proudly for so long is not their last," he told reporters.

Napthine says that the Victorian government will increase its $9 million contribution to the economic development and diversification fund for Geelong and northern Melbourne if the commonwealth boosts its $30 million commitment.

The Victorian election will be held on November 2014 and Andrews says that he will consult workers and the union before deciding how the extra money would be spent.

He estimated that, apart from the 1200 Ford jobs, 4000 workers in car component manufacturing would also lose their jobs. This would cause further damage to those communities. 

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