Retrenchment and industry policy

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Weller, Sally Anne (2000) Retrenchment and industry policy. Australian Bulletin of Labour, 26 (2). pp. 147-168. ISSN 0311-6336


The recent closure of the National Textiles plant in Newcastle has again brought the issue of plant closure in the textiles clothing and footwear (TcF) industries into the public arena. While National Textiles struggled to survive during the 1990s, many other TeF firms failed. This article details textiles clothing and footwear industry retrenchments in the period 1989 to 1996, the life of the previous government's TCF Plan. It discusses the complex interplay of forces that resuIted in plant closures and highlights the government's role in orchestrating the pattern and pace of change. The first section of the article briefly surveys different approaches to explaining plant closures. Following a description of changes in the industries since 1973 it then examines patterns of retrenchment, focusing on the relationship between job loss, government intervention and corporate re-organisation. Job loss cannot be interpreted solely as industry decline, but is intimately bound to firms' restructuring to secure their viability in an open economy. The conclusion contrasts managed and marketdriven approaches to micro-economic reform.

Item type Article
Subjects Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > Centre for Strategic Economic Studies (CSES)
Historical > FOR Classification > 1401 Economic Theory
Keywords textiles clothing and footwear, TCF) industries, TCF retrenchments,
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