FEBRUARY 11, 2021 – The Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union (AMWU) supports a pledge by Labor Opposition leader Anthony Albanese to create secure jobs and prioritise Australian manufacturing.
The AMWU have fought hard for the portability of entitlements including long service leave, same job same pay provisions, a clear and fair definition of casual work, and using government procurement powers to support local secure jobs.
Too many manufacturing workers are stuck in a loop of casual work. Labor’s plan to legislate a fair, objective test to determine when a worker can be classified as a casual will mean workers have a proper pathway to permanent work, the AMWU say.
The union representing over 70,000 manufacturing workers welcomes the pledge for manufacturing workers on site will be paid the same for the same job regardless of their employer. Under these plans, manufacturing workers in transient industries would have the opportunity to take their leave entitlements with them between jobs, allowing them to take sick leave with them and this could be expanded to casuals.
Labor’s plan to develop new procurement rules that support bids from businesses who favour permanent work and filling one in ten jobs with apprentices would boost apprenticeships after decades of neglect.
The AMWU welcomed a pledge by Albanese to ensure Australia’s energy grid will be built by local workers, using local suppliers – supporting Australian manufacturing.
The manufacturing union also backed plans to develop a national rail manufacturing plan to support local jobs.
Quotes attributable to AMWU National Secretary Steve Murphy
“We welcome Labor’s plans to prioritise secure jobs for manufacturing workers who have been ignored by the Morrison Government for too long.
“All we’ve seen from the Morrison Government is deliberately ignoring our manufacturing capabilities and skill and attacking pay, conditions and job security. We’ve had enough.
“Wages in manufacturing have been decimated by labour hire companies that undercut wages and conditions.
“These changes will target shonky labour hire firms that have devastated worker power in our industry and allow workers a louder voice in determining their future.
“Manufacturing workers are among the heroes who carried us through this pandemic. Now is the time to improve conditions for working people and Labor’s plans are a step in the right direction.
“We’ve fought hard for the portability of entitlements including long service leave, same job same pay provisions, a clear and fair definition of casual work, and using government procurement powers to support local secure jobs.
“Increasingly manufacturing workers are employed on short term contracts, labour hire, or have to move jobs regularly – these workers deserve the right to accrue entitlements like annual leave and long service leave.
“Australian manufacturing workers need to be at the centre of any economic recovery plan and Labor’s pre-election pledge to focus on secure jobs will do this.
“The Morrison Government’s proposed industrial law changes leave workers worse off, Labor’s will leave workers much better off.”