Where Does the Coalition Stand on Australian Manufacturing? Asks Union After Holden States Policy Change Could Risk 200,000 Jobs

December 3, 2012 • News

The Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union (AMWU) has demanded the Federal Coalition doesn’t abandon a million workers in the Australian manufacturing sector, by ignoring the consensus of business and unions on Australia’s manufacturing industry – if it wants to be taken seriously on jobs.

Picture: (Paul)

The Union’s National Secretary Paul Bastian believes Mr Abbott needs to do more than make glib statements, without policy details.

“There are one million people working in manufacturing who want to know what the Coalition are going to do to help secure their jobs and grow their industry. “Where does Mr Abbott stand on supporting “buy Australian”?; on getting tougher on dumping of cheap imports onto our market?; on government procurement of Australian manufactured goods?; on increasing local content in public and private projects?; on creating a smarter manufacturing base?” said Mr. Bastian

“Will Mr Abbott join the consensus on the need for government co-investment or is his party, as GM Holden asked today, going to gut the car industry?” he asked.

Mr. Bastian believes cutting the co-investment policy in the auto-industry would kill 200,000 jobs.

General Motors confirmed the position in the Financial Review last week, with the companies managing director believing that a changed policy environment could affect the company’s decision to spend $1 billion on new car models.

With Mr Abbott promising to create jobs, Mr Bastian has issued a request for details on how the opposition leader plans to keep the jobs we’ve already got.

“Yesterday we also saw the release of a report on the dumping of cheap imports and their impacts on jobs. Once again, we’ve seen unions and business working together to call on both major parties to support the reforms announced in John Brumby’s anti-dumping review. This could save jobs now, and get work back in our factories – but we have heard nothing about this from Mr Abbott – who’s clearly had more pressing priorities – that have nothing to do with strengthening the economy or increasing employment,” Mr Bastian said.

The AMWU strongly believes the time has arrived for the opposition to provide some policy substance for Australian manufacturing and the one million people it employs.

“The only policy that we do know the Opposition will pursue is attacking workers rights in the name of “productivity” again ignoring the consensus that lifting productivity will only result from encouraging innovation, improving leadership and management and working smarter with our science and research capabilities” Mr Bastian added.

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