Here is the unions position:
- The ETU believes that all Australian's deserve to benefit from the resources boom. Where there are well paid jobs in the resources sector, Australian's workers should be the first choice of contractors. Employers need to be able to demonstrate that they have advertised nationally to fill vacancies before being even considered for bringing in overseas labour. This would included utilising the 'Jobs Board' recently announced by the Australian Government.
- All big projects in the resources sector should be forced by government to train local young Australian's in electrical apprenticeships. There should be a minimum ratio of one apprentice for every three tradesmen on these big jobs. Our nation and our members deserve a "skills dividend" from the resources boom.
- Employers in the resources sector and more generally need to stop walking away from their training responsibilities. Over the last few decades the employer lobby has pushed all governments everywhere to pick up the costs of training. This is wrong, short sighted and unAustralian. Business in Australia needs to get back into the skills development game across the board!
- The ETU supports the permanent migration program over temporary migration. This nation was built on migration, but over the last few years permanent migration seems to have fallen out of favour, with the business lobby successfully pushing government to allow "let 'er rip" full scale 457 and related migration. 457 workers are less likely to stick up for their rights at work and more likely to undercut Australian pay and conditions. They know they are on the first plane home if they buck too hard. This is unfair on the 457 workers and unfair on Australian workers.
Peter Tighe - ETU Divisional Secretary