The Forgacs Shipyard in the Hunter is now desolate after 150 workers were marched off the site yesterday in a cruel blow for the shipbuilding industry and the region.
Since 2012, Forgacs Shipyard has gone from a workforce of almost 1000 workers, to now being completely barren. The facility has been purchased by Civmec but instead of maintaining employment numbers, all the workers were made redundant.
Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union (AMWU) Assistant National Secretary, Glenn Thompson, said this was a difficult time for workers and their families.
“Workers at the frontline have been pressuring the Federal Government to bring forward contracts and give local companies a go when it comes to our defence contracts. They feel let down by the inaction of the Turnbull Government,” said Mr Thompson.
In January, Forgacs learned it had missed out on making the shortlist to build 21 Pacific Patrol Boats. Forgacs was also denied the opportunity to bid for the building of two Navy Supply Ships, with the work being sent offshore instead.
“Two years ago, the Government said the Supply Ship work was too urgent to be done locally, yet they still haven’t even awarded the contract. Now, 150 another shipbuilders in the Hunter are out of work and their families face a bleak future,” Mr Thompson said.
Since 2013, when the Coalition came to power, 1665 shipyard workers across the Australia have lost their jobs. These job losses are spread between Adelaide, Melbourne, and the Hunter.
“Two shipbuilding workers lose their job everyday that the Coalition is in Government,” Mr Thompson said.
“What will it take for the Government to take action?”
“This is the first major announcement of job losses under the Prime Minister Turnbull’s watch. But unless he seriously engages with the Australian shipbuilding industry we fear it won’t be the last.”
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