Doors close on jobs for Corrimal workers

When production at Corrimal Cokeworks grinds to a final halt on Tuesday, many employees will be left without new employment to go to.

Corrimal Cokeworks.

Corrimal Cokeworks.

Illawarra Coke Company announced the closure back in October, bringing to an end more than 100 years of activity at the site.

Company managing director Rex Wright said while final production was expected to occur on Tuesday, final shipments would be taken off site in late June or early July.

Mr Wright said the downturn in the Illawarra's manufacturing sector meant many employees had been unable to find new work.

"Some men haven't got jobs to go to and they realise the employment situation in the Illawarra for industrial workers like themselves is somewhat bleak," he said.

Twenty-two Corrimal Cokeworks employees have been let go.

"I do know from speaking to some ... some have jobs but quite a few don't have jobs to go to," Mr Wright said.

He said a combination of factors including the Global Financial Crisis (GFC), high Australian dollar and the carbon tax had resulted in the company's demise.

"Over the years, the market in Australia has decreased considerably, so more and more of our product is being exported," he said.

"Since the GFC and the European economic crisis, the world has been awash with coke. Steel mills are not producing at capacity and have less demand for coke, but are producing excess coke of their own and dumping it on the world market.

"When considering we compete with the Chinese, Colombians, Russians [and] Ukrainians, who all have different standards to us and much more lax environment laws and no carbon tax, we are just not cost competitive."

He said he expected Australian manufacturers would continue to struggle.


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