In May 2011 food giant Heinz announced it was closing food processing plants in rural Australia, with the loss of hundreds of jobs that sustained several small towns. Facing the devastation of the their local communities, residents, farmers and workers …

Walton Pantland

In May 2011 food giant Heinz announced it was closing food processing plants in rural Australia, with the loss of hundreds of jobs that sustained several small towns. Facing the devastation of the their local communities, residents, farmers and workers – members of the Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union – from the Heinz plant came together to form the GV Food Cooperative.

It’s an example that should inspire unions and small communities everywhere. With the ongoing financialisation of the economy, and multinationals shedding jobs to focus on short term profit, the time is right for a rebirth of a cooperative movement with strong links to trade unions.


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Walton Pantland

South African trade unionist living in Glasgow. Loves whisky, wine, running and the great outdoors. Walton did an MA in Industrial Relations at Ruskin, Oxford, and is interested in how trade unions use new technology to organise.

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