The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU) launched a scathing attack on the Turnbull Government on Tuesday, saying its budget “failed to deliver for manufacturing workers” and young people desperately seeking secure employment.
“The budget’s stated focus on “jobs and growth” is betrayed by no new measures targeting investment in advanced manufacturing industries. There are no additional measures to tackle the flood of dumped imports coming into Australia undermining Australian jobs and businesses,” the AMWU said in a press release.
“There is no commitment to strategic industries like steel or new adjustment assistance for automotive workers or the auto supply chain. The budget recognises the crisis of youth unemployment but rather than reversing the $1 billion of cuts to apprenticeship programs the Coalition has overseen since coming to power, it introduces a scheme that will see businesses paid to take on unpaid interns.”
AMWU National President, Andrew Dettmer, described the budget as a “slap in the face” to manufacturing workers and their families.
“Young workers can expect better paid jobs in Thailand than they can as part of the Government’s PaTH scheme,” said Mr Dettmer.
“There is not a single extra cent put into apprenticeship programs and pathways to the high-skilled and secure jobs of our future. Nor is there any plan for advanced manufacturing to ensure we are well positioned for economic transition,” he said.
He pointed out that the budget came on the day the RBA cut interest rates to their lowest ever level, citing falling prices and a weakening economy.
“The government’s own numbers, as well as the RBA’s actions, tell one story while the government’s rhetoric in the budget tells another,” Mr Dettmer added.
“This is a budget that has a disturbing class warfare element to it, with tax cuts for the top quarter of income earners as well as large companies, but nothing for ordinary people besides empty promises disguising cuts to programs like medicare (almost $1 billion), higher education ($2 billion) and industry skills ($250 billion).”