Australian Manufacturing Workers' Union




Tony Abbott is no longer Prime Minister but his disastrous policies continue to cost shipbuilding workers their jobs.

At the end of their shifts yesterday another 70 employees at BAE Maritime in Williamstown, Victoria were told they would be made redundant.

Those affected are skilled technical support workers including supervisors, planners and schedulers whose expertise is likely to be lost to the shipbuilding industry as they seek employment elsewhere.

BAE Maritime and its highly skilled workforce have been cast adrift by the Federal Government which in June committed to a “continuous build” policy for the procurement of naval vessels but has so far failed to place a single new order to keep the industry viable.  

The Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union (AMWU) is calling on Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Defence Minister Senator Marise Payne to urgently intervene and and bring forward work until the promised $39 billion offshore Pacific Vessel (OPV's) program and the Future Frigates program commences in 2018 and 2020.

“Shipbuilders need certainty so they can plan for the future,” said AMWU Assistant National Secretary Glenn Thompson.

 “Certainty and job security is just as important for workers and their families, who need to know that continuing to pursue careers in shipbuilding will enable them to put a roof over their heads and food on the table,” Mr Thompson said.

BAE Maritime has an excellent record constructing sections of hull for the Air Warfare Destroyer (AWD) project and has recently completed two landing Helicopter Docks (LHDs) for the Navy.

“Our Defence Industry can’t afford to lose these workers because it will take years to train replacement staff,” Mr Thompson said.

“We urgently need new shipbuilding orders brought forward to give confidence to the industry,” Mr Thompson said.

“And we need a firm commitment from the Turnbull Government to build 12 new submarines in Australia.”

Media Contact   John Hill   0412 197 079

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