The Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union (AMWU) has condemned Minister Chris Pyne who this morning on ABC radio in Adelaide claimed that potentially building the first few submarines offshore would have no impact on jobs in South Australia.
HOST: Chris Pyne, we are not splitting hairs. If the first few subs – and that could be one or six or three or four – are not built in Adelaide, it will have a devastating impact on employment in Adelaide.
PYNE: No it won’t actually, you’re quite wrong about that.
“Minister Pyne needs to immediately explain to workers at ASC and the community of Adelaide why he has such a callous disregard for jobs in South Australia,” said AMWU Assistant National Secretary Glenn Thompson.
“If Government orders for ships and submarines have no impact on jobs, can he explain why ASC is due to lay-off between 30 and 40 engineers in coming weeks, and why 120 ship contractors were made redundant only a few weeks ago?
“Can he explain why hundreds of workers have lost their jobs at Forgacs in Newcastle and Williamstown in Victoria if projects have no correlation with jobs?”
Minister Pyne’s comments come on the back of comments by Industry Minister Macfarlane’s comments which have made it unclear exactly what the ‘competitive evaluation’ process is, and how it will proceed.
“The waters are just getting muddier,” said Mr Thompson.
“Is ASC and the Australian Industry able to participate? Or will they just be handed a contract with an overseas company, where part will be built overseas?
“Australian workers and industry need assurance that no matter who wins the competitive evaluation process the submarines will be built in Australia.
“Shipbuilders are crying out for certainty in the industry. The government can act now to save existing jobs and grow new jobs for the future.
“Now is the time for the Government to honour their pre-election commitment and re-commit to building all the next generation submarines in Australia, at ASC Adelaide.”