Greens Off Track On Alcoa

Tuesday 06th December 2016

 

 

The people of Western Victoria, and Alcoa’s Portland workers in particular would be devastated by the Greens’ callous attitude to industry, Australian Workers’ Union Victorian Secretary Ben Davis said today.

 

Statements attributed to Victorian Greens leader Greg Barber that the State Government should “fast track the establishment of a transition task force” smacked of enthusiasm for ridding the region of jobs critical to its ongoing wellbeing.

 

“The Greens are very quick to sound the death knell of any heavy industry, apparently oblivious to the realities of life for working people,” Mr Davis said.

 

“People need jobs if communities are to survive. The Greens should attempt to temper their blind enthusiasm for destroying blue collar jobs with a little compassion, and common sense.

 

“It is becoming bleedingly obvious that the Greens' best case scenario all too often coincides with the worst case for those who earn a living in manufacturing.”

 

The Greens are naïve in the extreme to be calling for regional economic development on the one hand, while cheering for the closure of a vital economic driver on the other. The Portland smelter remains a critical economic anchor for Western Victoria.

 

The AWU is in consultation with State and Federal Governments as all the stakeholders give of their best in the fight to save Alcoa, and in the process, the economic prosperity of Portland and the region.

 

“Portland is a wonderful town that has taken its fair share of knocks over the years, but has survived as the jewel in the crown of the Western region,” Mr Davis said.

 

“The people of the region understand the threat now being faced and are doing everything in their power to save the smelter, because they are the ones who know the price they will pay if it does not stay in operation. The Greens would do well to stop and listen.”