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$4.9b auto exports at risk because of Labor's union mates.

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Thursday 6 June 2002 -MVT056/2002

$4.9b Auto Exports at Risk Because of Labor's Union Mates

Trade Minister Mark Vaile today told Federal Parliament that Australia’s flourishing $4.9 billion automotive industry export sector was at serious risk because of the actions of union master and Labor puppeter Doug Cameron.

Mr Vaile said the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU) strike action at BHP Steel’s Western Port plant was preventing BHP from supplying high value added steel products, such as coated and painted steel for frame assembly, to the automotive industry.

“The AMWU is putting Australia’s entire automotive export industry at serious risk,” Mr Vaile said.

“This strike action is the third such industrial dispute, led by the AMWU, in less than 12 months and it is crippling Australia’s flourishing $4.9 billion auto industry export sector.”

“If the AMWU is fair dinkum about serving the interests of its workers it will stop this senseless BHP Steel strike action.

“All Australians benefit from Australia’s export success. Exports create more and better paying jobs.  Last year exports contributed $153.7 billion to the Australian economy.”

In Federal Parliament yesterday the opposition spokesman for Innovation, Industry, Trade and Tourism, Craig Emerson, detailed Labor’s 20 year vision for our economy to be innovative, high skilled, high waged Australians producing high value goods for export.

“If Dr Emerson was across his portfolio responsibilities he would recognise that Australia already produces high value exports and we’re internationally competitive too,” Mr Vaile said.

“Dr Emerson needs look no further than our auto sector as a prime example.

“If Dr Emerson wants to make a positive contribution to export policy he should start by encouraging his union masters to behave and stop crippling our world-class auto export sector.

“Union strike action damages our international reputation as an auto exporter of excellence.

“Union strike action threatens international investment.

“Union strike action threatens the jobs of decent hard-working Australian families.”

Media Contact: Mark Croxford +61 02 6277 7420

This page last modified: Friday, 07-Jun-2002 09:38:33 EST

Local Date: Friday, 07-Jun-2002 14:36:35 EST