Manufacturing union to rally against job losses

The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU) is campaigning to save local jobs and will hold a rally in Newcastle which will focus on jobs in the Hunter region.

As the Newcastle Herald reports, the rally will take place at Newcastle No.1 Sportsground on May 1, International Workers’ Day.

The action also involves an online campaign which, in the lead up to the NSW sate election in 2015, urges the government to commit to local jobs. A video on the topic has been produced.

Campaign director George Simon told the Newcastle Herald, ‘‘We want to make sure that every family in Newcastle and the Hunter knows about what’s going on.’’

 ‘‘This will be a sustained campaign in the lead-up to the 2015 election to let the community in the Hunter know where the major parties stand when it comes to jobs and our local economy.’’

As the ABC reports, AMWU State Secretary Tim Ayres claimed the Hunter is facing a jobs crisis

"More than 3,000 jobs are at risk in the Hunter's rail infrastructure sector and 1,000 jobs in shipbuilding, because of inaction of State and Federal Coalition Governments," Mr Ayres said.

As an example, he cited the possibility that Forgacs may be forced to make 900 workers redundant next year if the federal government cannot guarantee future naval work.

57-year-old Wayne Sweetman is one person who will be taking part in the rally. Retrenched from Downer EDI this month after 30 years of work in the transport manufacturing sector, he says governments have to help with job creation.

 ‘‘There’s plenty of work that needs to be done to upgrade rail infrastructure in Sydney alone, but the government refuses to put its hand in its pocket to pay for it,’’ Sweetman told the Newcastle Herald.

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