Union calls for Govt. support

The Federal Government should urgently convene a tri-partite resources meeting to discuss the effect of the global economic downturn on jobs in the mining industry, Australia's biggest mining union said today.

The Federal Government should urgently convene a tri-partite resources meeting to discuss the effect of the global economic downturn on jobs in the mining industry, Australia’s biggest mining union said today.

Australian Workers’ Union National Secretary Paul Howes said the AWU 2009 National Conference will discuss strategies to protect jobs in the mining industry. About 300 delegates and observers will meet in Queensland at the start of February to debate union policy for the next two years.

The AWU believes mining companies, as well as Federal, State and local governments, should support maintenance, refurbishment, new local infrastructure and upskilling programs which will keep workers in their jobs, and mining families in regional Australia.

Howes warned that the Federal Government may need to knock some sense into parts of the resources sector that refuse to be open and transparent with their workers, and the community, when it comes to discussing their mines’ futures.

“We’ve seen in recent months some mine employers turn their back on consultative processes and refuse to answer some basic questions from workers who need to plan their own futures for the good of their families,” Howes said.

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