13 December 2013 – Workers all along the supply chain will be affected by the closure of a major Australian car manufacturer
That’s the warning from ITF-affiliate, the Maritime Union of Australia following the announcement by General Motors Holden that it intends to cease manufacturing of vehicles in 2017.
The MUA has raised concern over the knock on effect for dockers, seafarers and other workers in the supply chain as a result of potentially reduced demand for steel and components.
MUA national secretary Paddy Crumlin, who is also president of the ITF and chair of the ITF dockers’ section said: “The end of automotive manufacturing by General Motors Holden, caused by the Abbott Government’s economic vandalism, affects many more people than the company’s direct employees, with an industry that provides billions of dollars in economic activity allowed to collapse.
“This closure will flow through into the component manufacturing sector, transport industries, other supply chain businesses and even the broader business and community service sectors in the region.”
He continued: “In our own industry — where workers in the Australian stevedoring and freight forwarding sectors have worked hard over many years to build a productive, safe and sustainable industry to support manufacturing — we will see the impact of this closure through reduced transportation of steel, components, and other products linked to the automotive trade.
“While many countries are using sovereign wealth to build communities that can grow and function with a strong employment base, the Abbott Government is championing a reckless free market approach.
“The long-term sustainability of the Australian community must be built on education, productivity, research and development and a healthy national consumption of goods and services.
“Vandalizing our manufacturing sector undermines every one of these values and demonstrates a negligence and ignorance of economic nation building.”