General Trade, Mining and Manufacturing

General Trade, Mining and Manufacturing

Sydney manufacturing sector continues to face challenges

Paul Lister - Friday, October 30, 2015

ETU Organiser Steve Robinson recently gave the Sydney manufacturing sector a health check declaring that the sector is likely to remain in intensive care in the immediate term.

Steve said the manufacturing in the aluminium and copper sector continues to suffer with job losses and plant closures highlighting that a local Penrith plant was forced to close in recent months. Other company’s facing challenges include Coca Cola and OI Glass – both of which operate glass manufacturing plants in Western Sydney.

“Coca Cola and OI Glass are both coming under pressure from off shore competition and just like the steel industry, glass is doing it tough too.” said Steve.

Manufacturing in the engineering and mining sectors continue to decline coming off the back of the mining down turn which has resulted in many companies being taken over or merged.

Things are somewhat better in the food manufacturing sector with fewer redundancies while these companies also continue to provide pay increases and some new apprentice opportunities.

Steve said that the NSW Government and Federal Government both had a lot to answer when it comes to industry support.

“In recent years we have watched as the NSW and Federal Governments have walked away from the Australian manufacturing sector.” said Steve

“Government support and contracts are no longer guaranteed with the vehicle manufacturing industry and submarine debacle being clear examples of how our government have deserted this sector.

“I keep hearing all of this nonsense that the China Free Trade Agreement will be good for Australia but all I can see is further off shoring of Australian jobs through the lack of government support.” said Steve.

Some of the impacts being felt by ETU members in the manufacturing sector include:

  • Reductions in Working Hours.
  • Employers negotiating Lower rates of Pay for new starters (two Tier System)
  • Reductions in Wages either from reduced Hours or Negotiations by the Employer
  • Redundancies
  • Reductions in Conditions of Employment
  • Wage Freezes for 12mths to 2 years in many instances.
  • Low wage increases below the State Government Wage Policy
  • Company Takeovers
  • Company Closures

IF YOU WORK IN THE MANUFACTURING SECTOR AND REQUIRE ASSISTANCE PLEASE CONTACT YOUR ETU ORGANISER STEVE ROBINSON ON 0414 877 581.