MUA Warns Holden Closure Will Also Impact Jobs In Industries That Support The Australian Manufacturing Sector

Australian stevedores, seafarers and workers elsewhere in the transport sector will suffer as a result of the decision by Holden to cease manufacturing vehicles in Australia in 2017, with reduced demand for steel, components and other associated materials, according to the Maritime Union of Australia.

The union has accused the Abbott Government of selling out Australian workers through its short-sighted attitude towards the Australian manufacturing industry and associated sectors.

MUA National Secretary Paddy Crumlin said the Abbott Government needed to take responsibility for the devastating impact of the closure, with Holden management having their hand forced by the government’s refusal to extend assistance for the industry which directly and indirectly supports tens of thousands of Australian jobs.

“The end of automotive manufacturing by Holden, caused by the Abbott Government’s economic vandalism, affects many more people than the company’s direct employees, with an industry that provides billions of dollars in economic activity allowed to collapse,” Mr Crumlin said.

“This closure will flow through into the component manufacturing sector, transport industries, other supply chain businesses and even the broader business and community service sectors in the region.

“In our own industry — where workers in the Australian stevedoring and freight forwarding sectors have worked hard over many years to build a productive, safe and sustainable industry to support manufacturing — we will see the impact of this closure through reduced transportation of steel, components, and other products linked to the automotive trade.

“While many countries are using sovereign wealth to build communities that can grow and function with a strong employment base, the Abbott Government is championing a reckless free market approach.

“The long-term sustainability of the Australian community must be built on education, productivity, research and development and a healthy national consumption of goods and services.

“Vandalizing our manufacturing sector undermines every one of these values and demonstrates a negligence and ignorance of economic nation building.”

MUA South Australian Branch secretary Jamie Newlyn said the union was joining with the ACTU, SA Premier Jay Weatherill, and other industry unions in condemning the Abbott-led Coalition for failing to support the Australian automotive manufacturing industry.

“The decision not to support the Australian vehicle manufacturing centre, and the resulting decision by Holden to cease making cars in Australia from 2016, will see tens of thousands of workers in South Australia losing their jobs,” Mr Newlyn said.

“The Abbott Government’s aggressive attacks on Holden and refusal to support the local vehicle manufacturing sector has exposed the fact that they do not have the best interests of working people at heart and they are willing to see the demise of our nation’s manufacturing sector.”

Mr Newlyn also accused the SA Liberal Opposition of being lapdogs to their federal leadership.

“If the Liberal Opposition is serious about representing the people of South Australia, the first thing they need to do is stand up to their party colleagues in Canberra,” he said.

“If they can’t demand the Federal Government support the future of Australian car manufacturing, which is so central to the South Australian economy, they are clearly unfit to lead our state.”