Manufacturing data released by the ABS late last week reveal that 76,600 jobs have been lost over the period of May 2008 to May 2009.
AMWU National Secretary Dave Oliver said that the effects of the global financial crisis and ten years of neglect from the Howard Government were the major catalysts for such job losses, taking manufacturing employment levels below a million for the first time in at least a generation.
“The global financial crisis has dealt a blow to manufacturing which is why we must do everything we can to ensure that we retain and create jobs going forward,” said Oliver.
“We welcome the initiatives by the Rudd Government to support manufacturing particularly the vehicle sector, however more needs to be done.
“It is in the Federal government’s interest to preference local suppliers and create local jobs as a response to the economic downturn and to mitigate the job losses seen yesterday.
“We renew our calls to State and Federal government to ensure that the infrastructure and investment programs as part of the response to this economic climate are targeted and attain maximum levels of benefit to local workers and communities.
“We welcome the NSW Government’s steps to encourage and preference local procurement as one of the best ways of boosting local employment, and urge other States and the Federal Government to embrace similar initiatives,” said Oliver.