Have had a gutsful of the white-anting of Labour from both the right and the left of politics.
White-anting is an Australian expression. It means undermining. I lived there for 14 years, worked for the trade union movement and as a public relations professional. Proud of my time there, the work I did and the people I worked with.
I have strong enduring relationships with people across the right and left of the Labour spectrum. In the last few days there’s been some very strong messages delivered about the importance of core Labour values. The compelling reasons for unions. And why there is a need for a strong Labour Party. And why Australia (like NZ) needs a strong manufacturing base.
All completely relevant here.
Paul Howes is the National Secretary of the Australian Workers Union. Over the weekend he sounded a strong warning that the high Australian dollar spells the death sentence for Australia’s manufacturing export markets and for other sectors of the economy such as in-bound tourism and that diplomatic pressure should be put on on China to float the Yuan.
Today we see what he was referring to with the announcement of 1400 manufacturing jobs from BlueScope Steel in Port Kembla, south of Sydney. This is devastating.
THE loss of more than 1000 jobs at BlueScope Steel is a devastating blow for the retrenched workers and the manufacturing industry, the Australian Workers Union (AWU) says.
BlueScope confirmed today that it will shut down its number six blast furnace at Port Kembla, south of Sydney, and close its Western Port hot strip mill, east of Melbourne.
“Today’s announcement is devastating for the families of more than 1400 workers who will be feeling the trauma and distress that comes with the loss of a secure income,” AWU national secretary Paul Howes said in a statement.
It further strengthened the union’s call for action on the Chinese yuan, a robust anti-dumping system and strong local procurement policies for the resources sector, Mr Howes said.
The BlueScope closures sent a clear signal that Australian manufacturing was facing its worst crisis since the Great Depression, he said.
The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU) said Australian manufacturing was under extraordinary pressure from the booming dollar, record high terms of trade and unfair competition from illegal foreign dumping.
“Local industry is not being given a fair go to work on the mining and resource projects which are driving the dollar sky-high, AMWU national secretary Dave Oliver said in the joint statement with Mr Howes.
Australia could not just rely on mining, Mr Oliver said.
Strong Labour policies focussing on our economic sovereignty; owning our own future are what this country needs.