August 31, 2022 – The AMWU is calling on the federal government to support a raft of workplace changes at the upcoming Jobs and Skills Summit, including multi-employer bargaining, a reduced working week for manufacturing workers, and lowering the manufacturing industry retirement age from 67 to 65.
Multi-employer bargaining will help address some of the most serious problems Australian manufacturing workers face, such as exploitation, job insecurity, and unsafe worksites. A 36-hour working week and a lowered retirement age will make the sector more attractive to young workers, improve worksite safety, address growing quality-of-life concerns and create jobs across our manufacturing sector
AMWU National Secretary Steve Murphy said:
“Before the election, Anthony Albanese made some big promises about rebuilding Australian manufacturing. We’re eager to work with federal and state governments on making those promises a reality.
“But the cold reality is that workers are really suffering under the current system. More manufacturing jobs won’t mean much if those jobs aren’t secure, well-paid, and able to provide dignity and security for workers and their families.
“Workplace bargaining has been a disaster for Australian manufacturing. Manufacturing workers kept Australia going during lockdown, but now they have less job security, have fewer chances to train and skill up, and are working harder for less pay. Multi-employer bargaining will give workers the job security and power they deserve."
"A 36-hour working week would be of little cost to employers, would improve productivity and help workers regain some of the quality of life they lost to Covid. Lowering the sector retirement age will attract the new generation of manufacturing workers Australia needs to rebuild its sovereign capability.
“We have a huge opportunity to rebuild Australia’s manufacturing sector and domestic supply chains. We can be a renewable energy superpower and meet our own medical and defence needs. But we can’t get there if manufacturing workers aren’t properly valued. These changes will help Australian manufacturing come roaring back.”