Australian Manufacturing Workers' Union




Media Conference:

Thursday 13 August 2015 | 9.30am | AMWU SA Branch Office

229 Greenhill Rd, Dulwich, SA.

It’s barely a week since Tony Abbott announced a $39 billion plan to build patrol boats and frigates in South Australia.


But the Government’s announcement hasn’t stopped another 26 shipbuilders from being sacked at ASC. The workers were sub-contract fabricators, pipe fitters, riggers and scaffolders working for several labour hire companies.


They were contacted by phone call and text message late yesterday and told they were no longer required.


“I think it’s disgusting the way they were laid off, in a similar way to waterside workers in Sydney and Brisbane,” said Colin Fenney, Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union (AMWU) SA Assistant Secretary.


“They should have been allowed some dignity by being told while still at work, and then been able to leave with their belongings.”


Mr Fenney said if the Abbott Government was serious about guaranteeing the future of shipbuilding, it needed to place orders for new work with ASC and stop jobs being lost.


“So far there’s no timeframe for the new frigates and patrol boats – is this just another promise Tony Abbott will break?”


“The sooner the Government places new orders with shipbuilding yards, the sooner we stop the job losses.”


Mr Fenney said the AMWU was concerned about the lack of detail around last week’s announcement which appeared to be designed to shore up the Coalition’s poor standing in SA.


He said workers and the industry deserved some certainty – not cowardly phone calls and texts saying they were out of a job.


Colin Fenney is available for morning radio grabs. Contact him on 0418 826 677


Media contact John Hill 0412197079

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