Australian news, and some related international items

Submarine shift puts thousands of jobs at risk: unions

Submarine shift puts thousands of jobs at risk: unions, The Age, By Anthony Galloway, September 28, 2021   The nation’s peak union body has lashed the federal government’s decision to dump a $90 billion submarine contract with France and instead build a nuclear-propelled fleet, warning it has put thousands of jobs at risk.

The Australian Council of Trade Unions said the new AUKUS agreement with the United States and Britain robbed Australia’s shipbuilding and manufacturing communities of “decent jobs for generations to come”.

The position puts the union movement at odds with federal Labor, which has largely backed the move despite raising some concerns about Australia compromising its sovereignty.

In a letter to Prime Minister Scott Morrison, ACTU assistant secretary Scott Connolly and Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union assistant national secretary Glenn Thompson said the announcement of the agreement earlier this month “understated both the challenge and scale of change required”.

They also raised concerns the arrangement with the US and Britain lacked “the Australian content commitments of the previous contract” with France.

The agreement with French company Naval Group included an agreement that work worth at least 60 per cent of the contract’s value would be done in Australia. The new arrangement is unlikely to involve as much local work because the nuclear-enriched reactors will arrive fully built.

American defence giant Lockheed Martin, which was to have built the combat systems for the French submarines, has already issued termination letters to its subcontractors…….

“We are disappointed with the ‘abrupt and brutal’ termination of Naval Group Australia’s (NGA) contract with the government, which has put thousands of jobs at risk. This decision is an ‘act of betrayal’ and robs Australia’s shipbuilding and manufacturing communities of decent jobs for generations to come,” Mr Connolly and Mr Thompson said……

They said there was an “alarming” lack of detail available about the new arrangement and its impact on the naval shipbuilding workforce and industry.

The union leaders called on Mr Morrison to immediately consult with them on a “strategy to make sure we do not outsource the nation’s defence capability at the expense of Australian shipbuilding manufacturing jobs”………

September 28, 2021 - Posted by | Uncategorized

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: