Great News For Workers

Wednesday 29th October 2014

Victorian workers will be encouraged by today’s news that a State Labor Government will upgrade the public transport network and secure hundreds of jobs in the process.


Australian Workers’ Union Victorian Secretary Ben Davis said the announcement of a commitment to 30 new trains for the metropolitan network, and 20 new Vlocity V/Line carriages, offered the prospect of a long awaited boost for the travelling public and local manufacturers.


“We know that our local train makers produce world class rolling stock, which is desperately needed to upgrade the rail network and get this state moving,” Mr Davis said.


“This announcement is in welcome contrast to the Napthine Government’s plans to manufacture trains offshore, rather than honouring its promise to build 40 trains locally.”


Mr Davis said he had already held discussions with Dandenong train maker Bombardier’s management about a bid which all concerned hoped would succeed.


“The important thing to remember is that we are building trains that are as good or better than anything any government can import,” he said.


“The crime is that sending orders offshore not only diminishes employment opportunities now, but  puts us in danger of losing the skills and reputation necessary for export markets. While any assembly work is welcome, manufacturing locally secures the most jobs and economic benefits.


“The message that a Victorian Government doesn’t want to order from its own state is not a good one to be sending to the world.”


The AWU was still looking at the detail of the 50% local content promise that came with today’s announcement, and would campaign to see that proportion of local content increased.


“We are facing a social and economic crisis with unemployment in this state, and country,” Mr Davis said.


“Whoever is in government in Victoria after the November election must maximise local content and implement a comprehensive procurement plan at the earliest opportunity.”