Shipyard staff urged to keep working

Defence manufacturer BAE Systems has sent an internal memo to workers at the Williamstown shipyard urging them to work hard despite a looming shortage in shipbuilding work.

In the memo, obtained by The Australian, BAE maritime director Bill Saltzer admitted the company was facing a “significant gap” in work at Williamstown.


Saltzer said the short term gap came from finishing contracts under the Air Warfare Destroyer program, with Port Adelaide firm MG Engineering also starting to deliver finished work on the project this month.


Saltzer said BAE would work hard to win more work on the AWD program, but a longer term gap was also appearing after completion of the Landing Helicopter Dock assault ship.


With the looming shortage Saltzer said workers had to do their part to ensure the survival of the industry, and asked staff to “perform, perform, perform” in order to keep the company competitive.


“We have to continue to deliver on all our current projects with high quality, on schedule and cost-effectively,” he said.


“To put it simply, that is the price of admission to the future in this industry.”


Earlier this week the Australian Manufacturing Workers' Union said it feared for the job security of 1,000 workers at Williamstown, and asked the Government to meet with officials to determine how the nation's shipbuilding program could support jobs in the long term.

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