Kimberly-Clark will close its Ingleburn plant in south-western Sydney and send manufacturing of Huggies nappies offshore in a move that will cost up to 220 jobs and impact the packaging supply chain.
As of July, the Ingleburn plant will shut down and Huggies nappies will be manufactured in China as part of the multinational’s global restructuring programme, a decision which the company says will enable faster access to research and development in nappies and pants.
“Kimberly-Clark Australia remains committed to providing consumers in Australia and New Zealand with the highest quality products to meet their needs. Products and innovations will continue to be designed by a local product development team, and guided by a deep understanding of local consumer insights,” the company said in a statement.
Workers have slammed the closure, with Jenny Kruschel, national secretary for textile, clothing and footwear at the CFMEU, calling it a devastating blow for employees.
“Our members in Ingleburn have given so much to the company, with those efforts responsible for ensuring Huggies remained a market leader, yet rather than reward that hard work, management have chosen to simply shut the factory and throw these workers on the scrapheap.
“Kimberly-Clark needs to reverse their decision and save Huggies – a product beloved by Australian families for generations – before it’s too late,” she said.
She also called on state and federal governments to intervene and protect local jobs.
Kimberly-Clark will continue manufacturing products such as Kleenex tissues and Viva paper towels at its Millicent mill in South Australia.