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More than 100 jobs axed at ASC

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More than 100 jobs have been cut from shipbuilder ASC in Adelaide.

The jobs lost are contractors who had been working on the Air Warfare Destroyer project.

Defence Industries Minister Martin Hamilton-Smith said the job losses were the result of federal government indecision about $250 billion worth of shipbuilding work over the next 30 years.

“This news is extremely disappointing for the workers and their families,” said Hamilton-Smith.

“Federal Government indecision on defence procurement is causing job losses at Melbourne based BAE Systems Australia, Newcastle based Forgacs and Adelaide based ASC.”

However, ASC said the job losses were the result of efficiency gains in its Air Warfare Destroyer (AWD) program.

“On the basis of continuous improvement, ASC is making enhancements to the way it undertakes production activities, including changing the sequencing of work.

“Whilst the change in sequencing will lead to efficiency gains during the entire construction timeline for each chip, it means at this stage of the build, the nature of the work to be performed is incompatible with the level of production contractors on site …

“Accordingly 101 labour hire contractors have been avised today that their positions on the AWD program are no longer required.

“This contractor management activity is normal practise for projects of this nature and has, and will, occur several times over the life of the project.”

Hamilton-Smith said that while the State Government was “supportive of ASC’s endeavours to improve productivity … consistent job losses underline the need for the right decisions to be made in Canberra about submarines and surface ships”.

“The Federal Government must provide Australia’s defence industry with clarity and immediately rule out an overseas or hybrid build.”

He said the job losses made it “essential that the Federal Government decides to build the Future Submarines and Frigates in Australia”.

“What we need now from the Federal Government is the delivery of a 30 year continuous strategic ship building plan for Australia to rescue an industry which is hanging on for survival,” he said.

“$250 billion worth of naval shipbuilding work is at stake over the next 30 years.

“Economic modelling shows that there are 120,000 man-years of work at risk if the Federal Government decides to send the submarine build overseas.”

Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union SA Assistant Secretary Colin Fenney said the job losses included included fabricators, boilermakers and pipefitters who have been employed on the Air Warfare Destroyer (AWD) project.

“These workers are victims of the Federal Government’s failure to recognise the need for a continuous building program to maintain our shipbuilding capability,” Fenney said.

“(Prime Minister) Tony Abbott claims he’s going to create 500 shipbuilding jobs in Adelaide but unless new orders are placed soon, the jobs of thousands of workers already in the industry will be at risk.

“The Abbott Government is creating a situation where we won’t have the skills in the industry and it will take years to retrain new workers to replace those who have left.”

 

 

 

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