Australian unions have signed a landmark agreement with Naval Group Australia to build 12 new submarines on-time and on-budget and to protect Australian workers.
Designer and builder of Australia’s 12 Future Submarines Naval Group Australia and the Australian Council of Trade Unions, the Australian Manufacturing Workers’Union, the Australian Workers’ Union, the Communications, Electrical and Plumbing Union, and Professionals Australia signed off on the memorandum of understanding (MoU) at the PACIFIC 2017 naval conference in Sydney.
A statement from Naval Group said the organisations will engage in open discussions to identify opportunities relating to the planning, development and delivery of the Future Submarine Program (FSP), while developing, extending and protecting the Australian workforce.
“Naval Group is committed to establishing an enduring, productive and globally competitive workplace relations framework that will form the basis for our Future Submarine operations in Australia," said Brent Clark, interim chief executive of Naval Group Australia.
"The construction of the Future Submarines in Australia will create a sustainable maritime industry, bolster the Australian economy for generations to come and create certainty for the many hundreds of Australian suppliers who will be involved in the FSP."
The MoU outlines the partnership principles that will govern how the parties will work together to deliver the future submarine capability for the Royal Australian Navy on time and on budget, securing hundreds of Australian jobs in the process. The consulting process will involve Naval Group approaching unions, universities, TAFE and Registered Training Organisations to skill up to 2900 Australian workers who will be involved in the submarine building project.
ACTU Secretary Sally McManus said the ACTU hopes the agreement signals the start of a constructive relationship between DCNS and the shipbuilding unions.
"This project has huge potential to create jobs and build capacity in the shipbuilding industry," she said.
"This is about the future of manufacturing and high-skilled jobs."