Manufacturing News

Unions call for help to boost workers’ productivity

Australia’s two largest manufacturing unions are calling on business and government to work with unions and their members to ensure Australian manufacturing experiences strong growth following the global financial crisis (GFC).

In the new Manufacturing Alliance discussion paper Building a stronger, more prosperous manufacturing industry in Australia, the AMWU and AWU outline strategies to achieve best practice sector-wide productivity growth.

By implementing key measures to encourage growth and global engagement, as well as investing in education, research and new industries, the paper argues Australia can not only recover from the crisis but thrive in the decade ahead by taking advantage of new opportunities like renewable energy manufacturing.

This Wednesday, the Manufacturing Alliance will host a national roundtable in Parliament House with industry, business groups and government to discuss future solutions to promote the existing talent and innovation already seen in Australia’s manufacturing industries.

AWU National Secretary Paul Howes and AMWU National Secretary Dave Oliver said the roundtable was an important chance for the manufacturing sector to take a collective approach to challenges that have contributed to the loss of 77,000 workers over the last year.

“And while Government’s stimulus spending, local procurement policies and infrastructure investment assist in slowing job losses and stimulating recovery from the GFC, by taking the measures outlined in our paper, Australia’s manufacturing could enjoy a decade of strong growth rising from a long term average of 1.5% to 3.25% a year.

“This would raise manufacturing gross value added by nearly $40 billion by 2020, and increase stable employment by an additional 50,000 compared to average levels existing over the preceding decade,” Paul Howes, AWU National Secretary said.

“86 per cent of the public agree that it is important for unions, businesses and the government to work together to create green jobs and a renewable energy industry for Australia. With the right collaborative approach, we can create a sustainable manufacturing sector for the future,” Dave Oliver, AMWU National Secretary said.

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