|Issue No 63||21 July 2000|
BHP Holds Gun to Kembla's Head
BHP has been accused of corporate blackmail by threatening to withdraw future investment from the Port Kembla region if plans to contract out 1,000 jobs are actively opposed.
Workers are currently threatening a mass stop work meeting in early August to rpotest the plans to contract out the steelworks' entire maintencance section.
Australian Workers Union Port Kembla branch president Andrew Whiley says management has quietly threatened unions and the community that the board will not approve fututre capital investment at Port Kembla unless the contracting out proposal is accepted.
"This is basically corporate blackmail of not only the Illawarra community but the cotre of Australia's remaining iron and steel production that BHP still controls," Whilley says..
BHP local management informed workers this week that they planned to contract out entire maintenance facilities - 1,000 blue collar jobs - regardless of any arguments the workforce put forward.
Whilley says the positions will be filled by contract workers - but the concern the community will lose full-time jobs, and end up with a predominantly casual workforce.
BHP argues the contracting out is necessary for 'cost and efficieny reasons - an argument that doesn';t wash with ther woerks.
"We don't accept that - our view is that its part of the slimming down of the industry to the point that steel making is just a vestiage and Port Kembla is a skeleton," Whilley says..
Job level delegates have decided to campaign against BHP and tio seek approval from fellow owrkes for a mass topwork meeting that qwould bring iron steel production to a halt - early August
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Economics: Edge of the Abyss
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History: Taming the Tigers
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Review: Music is Crap
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Last Modified: 15 Nov 2005