The AMWU this week clawed back gains in the auto industry with a back down by the Government on their proposed cuts to the Automotive Transformation Scheme (ATS).
Sustained union and community pressure led to the Government abandoning its $900 million cuts to the Automotive Transformation Scheme, announced by the Industry Minister late last week.
It gives hope that parts makers would continue to 2017, but was “too little, too late” according to National Vehicles Division Secretary Dave Smith.
“The Government will likely only spend $100 million of this money, all they’ve done is recognise they will never get the ATS cuts through the Senate,” he said.
“It’s a cynical political exercise to dress up their back down.”
The money is tied to Australian car manufacturing rather than helping more components makers to diversify into export markets.
“If the Government had chosen to support the industry and its 50,000 workers 18 months ago, the falling dollar would have resulted in the industry being export competitive again, “Mr Smith noted.
“The industry would be employing again, not winding down.”
The AMWU wants all the ATS $500 million – plus $400 million which had been earmarked for after the car maker’s closures - re-directed back into component makers, after-market services, the truck industry and other auto area which can grow and create jobs.
This reform would help make them more viable and able to absorb a bigger portion of the thousands of jobs likely to be lost when the carmakers close.
“Jobs mean everything to our members and we won’t let them down while there's any possibility of fighting.”