The Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union (AMWU) said that today’s National Press Club Address by the Prime Minister was “a step in the right direction”, but called for worker representatives to be included in the development of the Government’s proposed two, five, and ten-year industry roadmaps.
“COVID-19 has shown that workers are the most essential part of our economy. They deserve a seat at the table where these roadmaps are being developed”, said AMWU National Secretary Steve Murphy.
Mr Morrison called for unions, industry, superannuation funds, research bodies, scientists, and government to “pull in one direction” over the coming ten years.
“The simplest way to get everyone pulling in the same direction is for workers to have a voice in the decisions that affect their lives. Manufacturing workers made sure that food was on tables, essential household goods were available, and vital medical equipment was produced throughout the height of the pandemic. These workers should have a say in the future of their industries”, Mr Murphy said.
The Union welcomed the announcement of $1.5 billion in spending on manufacturing, but remains concerned about the lack of immediate industry support.
“61 000 manufacturing jobs were lost between March and June. The best ten-year plan in the world is meaningless if manufacturing businesses keep collapsing at that rate. We need immediate action to support our industry.
“The Government has just committed $18 billion to support the gas industry. We are calling on them to redirect that money to support Australian manufacturing and grow our renewable industries and infrastructure.
“COVID-19 showed that our manufacturing and supply chains have been hollowed out. We need serious investment immediately to reverse the effects of decades of neglect”, Mr Murphy said.
The Union supports the inclusion of resources and mineral processing and recycling and clean energy in the priority sectors outlined by the Prime Minister.
“There is strong community support for rebuilding our manufacturing industries. We have an opportunity right now to show that we can have both climate action and job creation”, Mr Murphy said.