AMWU: ASC could do more to retain skilled workers

Image: ASC

Image: ASC

The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union has criticised the announcement that 130 workers would be made redundant at ASC, arguing for more work to be brought into the shipyard.

The Portside Messenger reports that Colin Fenney, acting state secretary of the union, said that the government should find more work until the beginning of work of the Offshore Patrol Vessels and Future Frigates projects begin. This will be in 2018 and 2020.

“They could do heavy engineering. Bring that in there and if you keep the workforce going you keep your skills going,” he told The Messenger.

The workforce of 2,155 at ASC would have to be maintained for the Future Submarines project, budgeted at $50 billion to build.

“People find other jobs and they will not be wanting to come back so the investment that everybody has put in, the company, the government, to train these people is just lost,” Fenney added.

The ASC announced last week it would lay off 130 workers – due to the Air Warfare Destroyer program winding down – by the end of January.