General Trade, Mining and Manufacturing

General Trade, Mining and Manufacturing

ETU welcomes leadership on steel

Paul Lister - Thursday, June 16, 2016

The ETU representing more than 70,000 people working in high-skill blue-collar trades has welcomed the news that a Labor government will invest in Australian steel.

The announcement of a joint investment in a $150 million steel reserve between federal labor and the South Australian governments demonstrated a realistic and credible plan for Australian steel, Communications, Electrical and Plumbing Union (CEPU) national industrial officer Matt Murphy said on Thursday.

Mr Murphy said that the announcement would help troubled South Australian steelmaker Arrium weather the current steel glut and return to health.

“Arrium has been teetering on the edge of a financial cliff for months, and if it falls it takes thousands of Australian steel and manufacturing jobs with it,” he said.

“It’s testament to the co-operative efforts of working people, administrators and creditors that we have kept the company alive, but we need credible long-term leadership from government. Until today it has been absent.”

Mr Murphy called on the federal government to match the ALP’s commitment.

“It’s beyond ideology at this point – people’s livelihoods are at stake. Malcolm Turnbull knows a good idea when he sees it, and one has been put in front of him.”

“It’s time for the government of Australia to support its steel industry the same way our major trading partners do.”

“Anything less from Turnbull represents a failure of leadership. It’s time to show that the government’s commitment to industry extends beyond slipping on a hi-vis for photo ops.”