The Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union WA Branch (AMWU) has called on the Premier of WA to remind mining giant BHP Billiton of its obligation to prioritise WA jobs.
BHP Billiton plans to send 24,000 tonnes of structural steel work offshore as part of upgrades to its South Flank Iron Ore project in the Pilbara.
AMWU State Secretary Steve McCartney said, 24,000 tonnes of steel going offshore will cost Western Australia thousands of jobs.
“BHP Billiton has ignored calls from the WA Government to put WA workers and WA jobs first,” he said.
“The Premier’s first speech to the WA mining industry declared that in place of a mining tax the Government would instead demand jobs for West Australians from industry.
“The trade-off for extracting resources that belong to all West Australians was supposed to be local jobs and infrastructure spend in WA.
“What we’ve seen here is BHP thumb its nose at the Government and send thousands of tonnes of structural steel work offshore.
“At the same time that BHP is costing thousands of West Australian jobs, it’s putting its hand out for millions of dollars in concessions on the diesel excise.
“24,000 tonnes of structural steel means 2000 manufacturing jobs for Western Australians.
“We’re calling on the Premier to remind BHP of its obligation to West Australian workers.
“The Premier needs to stand up to BHP Billiton and demand WA jobs,” Mr McCartney said.