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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