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What are the unions doing to #saveoursteelworks?

Release Date: 13/08/2015
As the community gets behind the #saveoursteelworks campaign and the unions release economic modelling showing the impact of a complete closure of BlueScope’s Illawarra operations, the Illawarra Business Chamber (IBC) and Australian Industry Group (Ai Group) ask the question ‘what are the unions doing to save our steelworks?’
“We strongly encourage businesses and the community to remain calm following the release of the union commissioned economic modelling. No decision has been made by BlueScope and the union’s research overstates the flow-on impacts on the region,” said Debra Murphy IBC Chief Executive.
“An economic model is only as good as its inputs. Garbage in, garbage out.  The researchers have used job and output figures from BlueScope’s website for their total operations, including Colorbond manufacturing, as the input to their Input/Output model. Therefore, the ‘output impacts’ relates to a hypothetical situation that has not even been suggested,” said Ms Murphy.
“While the unions are busy calling on the Government and taxpayers to ‘save our steelworks’ we question what they themselves are doing to support the game-changing transformation needed to boost BlueScope’s global competitiveness,” said Ms Murphy.
“The unions are key players and have the ability to make a significant contribution to the competitiveness of the steelworks.  To do this, they and all other stakeholders will have to show leadership and work constructively together to meet the challenge facing Bluescope, its employees and the Illawarra community,” said Leanne Grogan, Regional Manager, Illawarra & South East, Ai Group.
“We all need to put the way we did things in the past behind us, take some pain if we have to and focus on doing what it takes to ensure the viability of the manufacturing industry in this region,” said Ms Grogan.
“All parties involved need to work together to find ways to alleviate the extensive global and local market pressures.  This includes the unions themselves, and we urge them not to make excessive demands in their bargaining,” said Ms Murphy.
“One of the biggest costs in most businesses is labour.  If the unions are serious about saving the steelworks, they could work more with BlueScope and the companies in its supply chain to increase workforce productivity,” said Ms Murphy.
Media contacts: Julia Frith 0417 135 858 Leanne Grogan 0418 216 909

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