Australian Manufacturing Workers' Union


Shipbuilding Workers Celebrate Victory

Tuesday 26 April, 2016

Shipbuilding workers across the country are today celebrating after the Federal Government’s announcement on submarines has guaranteed a generation of Australian shipbuilding jobs. The celebration comes as the Federal Government today announced a build 12 submarines in Adelaide.

AMWU National Secretary, Paul Bastian, was delighted at the announcement.

“Today’s announcement is the culmination of four years of campaigning and hard work by shipbuilders across the country,” he said.

Since 2012, shipbuilding workers have been engaged in a campaign to convince the Government to do a local build of ships and submarines.

“The high-vis outfits of our shipbuilding members have been a welcome addition to sitting weeks as we have spent hours walking the corridors of parliament delivering our message to politicians. We’ve held dozens of rallies, crowdfunded billboards, knocked on voters doors, and created a sophisticated digital presence to get our message heard,” said Mr Bastian.

“Two years ago it was obvious that Government was ready to walk away from it’s promise to build these submarines here. We saw the back of a Prime Minister and two Defence Ministers. We’ve dragged the Government back to an Australian build kicking and screaming every step of the way,” he said.

The build and maintenance of twelve submarines is expected to cost $150b over thirty years  and will create tens of thousands of direct and indirect jobs across the country.

The celebration follows an announcement by the Government last week that twelve Offshore Patrol Vessels and 21 Pacific Patrol boats would be built in Adelaide and Perth from 2018.

“We are glad the Government has seen the light on the importance of a continuous build. Our thoughts remain with the 1800 shipbuilding workers that have lost their jobs in Newcastle, Melbourne, and Adelaide because the Government dragged it’s heels on these decisions,” said Mr Bastian.

“Shipbuilding workers will not quickly forget that Australian firms were not even invited to tender for supply ship contracts. Those are 300 shipbuilding jobs that have been delivered to Spain,” he said.

Shipbuilding workers remain intent to see the decision through to delivery after the Government made a similar commitment in 2013, prior to the federal election.

“It’s critical that the industry has certainty. We want to make sure that Government delivers on its promise. We want to make sure they put ink to paper.”

Media contact John Hill 0412197079


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