Over 1,000 Newcastle workers to march, demanding more manufacturing contracts

Over
1,000 train and ship manufacturers are expected to march in Newcastle today,
pushing for NSW government contracts in the Hunter region.

The
ABC reports that the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union is disappointed at
the lack of shipbuilding work and the decision by the NSW Coalition government
to look overseas for rail manufacturing.

The
winner of the NSW election would have to make a decision on where it would
source billions of dollars’ worth of trains from, said the AMWU.

“The
New South Wales state government has stripped massive amounts of tax revenue,
royalty revenue and the proceeds of the port privatisation out of the Hunter
region, but they’re sending thousands of jobs offshore to buy low quality, cut
price, off-the-shelf trains,” the AMWU’s Tim Ayres told the ABC.

According
unions, thousands of manufacturing jobs in the region had been lost in the last
12 months.

These
include last week’s 130 jobs cut at the Newcastle site of shipbuilder Forgacs,
which has said it may have to close its local operations entirely in 2016 if
the federal Coalition government did not bring shipbuilding contracts forward.

Today’s
march will begin at 12 pm at Newcastle’s number one sportsground and proceed to
Civic Park.

Image: https://www.amwu.org.au/