AMWU slams Minister Johnston for failing to provide a plan to save shipbuilders’ jobs


The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU) has expressed utter disappointment in Defence Minister The Hon. David Johnston, calling him a liar in the wake of the forecasted shock wave that is set to hit the shipbuilding industry, with 7000 shipbuilding jobs hanging on the line.

Image credit: flickr User: David Wallace
Image credit: flickr User: David Wallace

According to the media release by AMWU, the Minister has broken his promise to provide a plan to save Australia’s 7000 shipbuilders from the “valley of death”, on or around the federal budget, by delaying assistance and the order of new warship projects.

“Once again, we have seen Ministers in this Government sit on their hands while skilled Australians lose jobs. It’s the same old story of abrogating responsibility by refusing to act now to save the shipbuilding industry. It’s the same old lies — paying lip service to the importance of our skilled manufacturing workers, then delivering peanuts,” said AMWU National Assistant Secretary, Glenn Thompson.

“We have skilled shipbuilders around Australia who waited and hoped that the budget would deliver them some job security. One and a half billion were allocated to bring forward defence projects but yet again no plan. Instead they are still facing a “valley of death” as work is due to dry up and now Minister Johnston is saying there are no new builds coming.”

Mr Thompson further added that the AMWU is urging the Government to pursue shipbuilding opportunities in order to ensure that skills and jobs remain in Australia.

“Now is the Government’s chance to ensure we retain the ability to design and build the ships, submarines and frigates that our navy needs. Built here, with Australian labour,” he said.

“We hope that Minister Johnston will reconsider and bring forward enough projects to secure these jobs across the country.”