Pyne must intervene to prevent more redundancies in Adelaide’s shipyards ¬

Nicholas McCallum

MEDIA RELEASE: Tuesday August 21, 2018

News that more than 90 workers will be let go at the ASC shipyards in South Australia is another stinging indictment on the inept and incompetent Turnbull Government.

The Electrical Trades Union of Australia is stunned to hear that 93 workers, including 75 electricians, eight mechanical fitters, six metal workers, two pipe welders and two facilities fitters at the Osborne shipbuilding facility, will be shown the door.

This round of job cuts means that since Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne declared an end to the “valley of death” in October more than 500 workers have lost their jobs.

ETU National Secretary Allen Hicks said Minister Pyne is not only failing the workers of his home state, he is failing in his portfolio obligations.

“Christopher Pyne should be ashamed of the ineptitude he has shown in his portfolio and his hometown of Adelaide where he has let 500 workers be cut away like dead wood,” he said.

“Pyne boasted he was ‘a fixer’ but he can’t keep the jobs in his own portfolio from being slashed.

“But the fate of these workers will be of no concern to Pyne or anyone else in the Turnbull Government that is tearing itself apart.

“Australia’s workers are second order to the Liberal Party’s internal squabbles.”

ETU National Industrial Coordinator Matthew Murphy said it was disgraceful to see more shipbuilding workers being jettisoned when billions of taxpayer dollars were being directed into the sector over the coming decade.

“We’re about to see work commence on Offshore Patrol Vessels this year and the Future Frigates build will kick off in 2020, but ASC Shipbuilding management thinks it can drop these workers and pick them up again later,” Mr Murphy said.

“There are billions being given to ASC and BAE Systems to fund these projects, but they wrongly believe they can tell workers to stand down until they are needed again. 

“This is not how we treat skilled workers and their families in the modern world. Bosses can’t tell these workers to tighten their belts, hold their breath and wait until their ship comes in.”

Communications, Electrical and Plumbers Union State Secretary John Adley said the South Australian Premier needed to stand up for the state’s workers and demand Minster Pyne step in and do his job.

“Premier Steven Marshall needs to stand up for his state and urge Pyne to intervene, so we don’t lose these skilled workers right before South Australia’s shipbuilding industry is about to ramp up like never before,” Mr Adley said.

“Knocking these workers and their years of skill and knowledge out will devastate SA’s shipbuilding industry and we are urging the state and federal governments to make ASC come to the table and find a solution.”

Media enquiries: ETU National Communications Coordinator – Nicholas McCallum

0419 499 886, nicholas@etuaustralia.org.au


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