Unions promise no strikes on submarine project

The unions representing workers at ASC’s South Australian shipyard have pledged that, if the site wins the contract to build Australia’s next generation submarines, there will be no strikes on the project.

AAP reports that the three unions in question, the AWU, AMWU and CEPU, joined with South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill to make the pledge.

Weatherill has written to the new federal Minister for Defence, Marise Payne to put the case for South Australian involvement in the project.

Japan, France, and Germany have bid for the project. The Government has yet to decide whether the work will be done locally, will be done by one of those foreign bidders, or if there will be a foreign-local hybrid build.

“…whichever overseas bidder is chosen to build the future submarine project, they will have a workplace that is productive and co-operative,” Weatherill told reporters at the site yesterday.

He added that ASC’s Osborne site enjoys “precisely the sort of industrial environment which will allow us to successfully pursue this project.”

According to the ABC, the pledge is similar to one that was made a decade ago when South Australia won the contract to build air warfare destroyers for the Australian navy.

Meanwhile, the West Australian reports that the new Federal Social Services Minister Christian Porter, who holds the WA seat of Pearce and has previously shown his support for his state’s shipbuilding industry, told ABC Radio he is confident WA will win upcoming shipbuilding contracts.

Upcoming projects include the building of offshore patrol vessels, frigates and submarines.

The comment followed WA State Treasurer Mike Nahan’s attack on ASC, which he described as a ‘basket case’