Union alliance to focus on manufacturing

AWU and the AMWU launch a partnership to address the job crisis in the manufacturing industry

The Australian Workers Union (AWU) and the Australian Manufacturers Workers Union (AMWU) have come together to launch an alliance aimed at addressing the job crisis in the manufacturing industry.

Both unions represent more than 250,000 workers, and the alliance has been formed to push manufacturing interests at all levels.

AWU National Secretary Paul Howes says the major objective of the alliance is to promote Australian content in public and private infrastructure projects, such as roads.

"Australian manufacturers ought to be the first port of call when it comes to tendering for major infrastructure projects, as the benefits to the economy and the boost to employment far outweighs the cost and impact of sourcing materials made overseas," Howes says.

AMWU National Secretary Dave Oliver says the importance of increasing Australian employment and investment in local interest is vital if the country has any hope of coming out of the global recession in better shape than before.

"This is the sort of stimulus Australia now needs, one that gives a longer term benefit and supports communities, businesses and individuals for a long time to come," Oliver says.

The alliance has been formed less than a week away from the upcoming Australian Labor Party National Conference.

Both unions plan to push for greater action on manufacturing during the conference and will also convene a national roundtable bringing together key manufacturing stakeholders in Canberra on October 28.

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