New Zealand should follow Aussie lead on job protection

The Maritime Union says the New South Wales State Government could teach John Key one or two things about protecting jobs.

Nearly $4 billion worth of NSW government goods and services including uniforms, cars and even trains, will have to be sourced from Australian companies in order to boost local production and jobs, in an upcoming budget annoucement that has been welcomed by Australian unions.

Maritime Union of New Zealand General Secretary Trevor Hanson says this idea should be adopted immediately in New Zealand.

“We have watched the collapse of LWR recently with the loss of large numbers of jobs – so why are we not insisting that Government requirements for uniforms and clothing go through this and other local companies?”

He says that with rising unemployment, and the accelerating collapse of the manufacturing sector in New Zealand, the Government must stop sitting on its hands and take practical action.

“Being over dependent on volatile goods and services like agricultural commodities and tourism is not working for New Zealand.”

Mr Hanson says the Government had “gone quiet” on securing local jobs recently.

He says New Zealand’s fundamentalist approach to free trade was backfiring badly, as witnessed by the recent unilateral abandonment of free trade in New Zealand dairy products by the United States.

“It is time for New Zealand to lose its religious faith in free trade theories, and instead start to operate in the real world, with a commitment to New Zealand workers rather than global corporations.”

The Maritime Union is also supporting local ownership of ports and the re-introduction of cabotage where New Zealand coastal shipping is given priority in New Zealand waters.

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