2000, 55 Minutes
The employees of the BHP steelworks in Newcastle are bracing themselves for closure. With one month to go, the termination letters have been posted and Australia's largest industrial shutdown is about to begin. The termination letters have been posted and the employees brace themselves for closure. The company's spin doctor is selling the steelworks closedown as a "feel good" story and there's talk of high-tech industrial parks and tourist developments. But many of the steelworkers have spent their entire working lives at the plant and know nothing else.
Personal dramas start to unfold as they struggle to come to terms with an uncertain future. Peter, for one, is angry - he's lost his marriage as well as his job. Jack is on an emotional roller coaster as he faces the challenge of setting up his own business. And workshop manager Aubrey, once a militant unionist, is worried about what will happen to the men he calls "his boys".
These stories are set against a backdrop of Newcastle in its heyday when BHP was the symbol of Australian prosperity.
This is the end of an era. Life in Steel City will never be the same.
A Film Australia National Interest Program. Produced with the assistance of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
© 2011 National Film and Sound Archive of Australia.
Director/Writer: Catherine Marciniak
Running Time: 55 Minutes
Classification: Exempt from classification
Curriculum Links: Australian History; Business & Work; Economics; Organisational Management; SOSE/HSIE – labour, industrial relations history and/or the impact of globalization.