The Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union (AMWU) South Australia branch is launching a nationwide Support Aussie Made campaign to its manufacturing delegates calling on state and federal governments to urgently step up and back local manufacturing workers and the products they make.
The Support Aussie Made campaign calls on state and federal governments to tweak industry regulation to better support growth in manufacturing. By mandating local content, we grow manufacturing for generations to come. If it can be made here, it should be made here, the AMWU say.
The union says the Liberal government is not backing manufacturing workers by mandating the use of local content. Right now, there has been no guarantee local steel from Whyalla will be used in the transmitters that will be used in the federal government’s $2 billion interconnector project between SA and NSW – an infrastructure project tipped to deliver long-term cheaper power to both states.
AMWU delegates from across South Australia are gathering today to plan to take the campaign into workplaces across the state. The AMWU cover manufacturing workers across industries, from print and packaging, vehicle building, metal and engineering, food and technical/laboratory.
Lines attributable to Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union (AMWU) SA state secretary Peter Bauer:
“Supporting Aussie made is urgent and the COVID pandemic has shown us that good secure jobs in manufacturing are key to our economic recovery. We need to maximise our investment in making things locally and by employing more Australian workers and apprentices.
“COVID was the wakeup call we all needed. It highlighted the weaknesses in our supply chains in the most dramatic way, but our workers have always been innovative, and they found ways to keep manufacturing Aussie made products.
“When air freight ground to a halt Electrolux closed its factory for four weeks because it couldn’t import the parts needed to manufacture cookers. Workers acted quickly alongside the company to start making the steel parts in house.
“We need concrete buy in from both federal and state governments when it comes to supporting Aussie made and manufacturing jobs.
“With the SA-NSW interconnector project, we need assurances that local steel from Whyalla will be used to produce the transmitters that will power this federal government project.”