Blundstone Heads to Asia… 350 Jobs Gone

jan 07 daily reckoning

Aussie Icon Blundstone Heads to Asia… Up to 350 Workers Lose Jobs

Up to 350 workers for Hobart, Tasmania-based Blundstone will lose their jobs as the company relocates production to Thailand, where labour costs are cheaper. Blundstone CEO Steve Gunn simply said, “This is the world.” But what world is he talking about?

We don’t own any Blundstone boots. But the story itself is a familiar scene as globalisation spreads, and it always puts a real human story in the context of very large, seemingly inhuman forces. Customers, we are told, are loyal to price, not brand. The evidence seems to bear this out. But what it means is that local businesses with local traditions and local employees are gradually forced to close shop, or at least set up somewhere else, as labour costs rise ...

“What happens once Australia sells all of its resources to China and India? What then? What kind of jobs will be left for my nieces and nephews?” ...

But for now, it’s easier to buy Australian coal and iron ore because Australia has it, and the cost is relatively cheap. You just don’t want to get to the point where your mineral industry becomes like your boot-making industry. If it ever gets to that point, then Australians will find themselves driving cabs, washing dishes, and serving dinner to their rich Chinese masters.