The Australian Workers’ Union has said action is needed on trade cheating and procurement on government projects to strengthen Australian manufacturing.
In an article about MM Kembla, which it says is the last remaining Australian manufacturer of copper, AWU members discuss the difficulties the century-plus-year-old business has come under from imported products that deliberately undercut local businesses.
“It’s hard to compete when you are faced with cheap copper being dumped here, but we have never given up,” said delegate Sash Stojanoski, an employee at the site for 25 years.
“We have worked really hard to continuously improve so that we remain as competitive as possible and we are still here. If we get the right support there is no reason why we should not be here in another 100 years.”
The AWU said it backs stronger local procurement policies on major projects, and believes that if 90 per cent of “steel, aluminium, glass, cement and other heavy manufacturing items used on major government projects” was locally made, then it would “pump $3.5 billion into the economy and create 53,000 new jobs.”
MM Kembla was opened in 1916, and made around 160,000 tonnes of products a year at its peak in the 1990s. It currently produces 9,000 to 10,000 tonnes a year of copper tubing.
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