The aerospace sector in Australia has been hit by a government cut to its funding and the loss of jobs.
The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU) said it had more than 400 members in the aerospace industry, with more than 90 of them in the manufacturing sector.
It said the cuts would affect the entire aerospace sector, as well as its staff, contractors and suppliers.
“It will be particularly hard to recruit staff in aerospace as it is a very high profile industry and it is one of the areas where there are a lot of high profile projects and they will have to be supported through cuts,” AMWU national secretary, Mark McPherson, said.
“[We’re] seeing some big projects being cancelled and other projects not moving forward in the short term because of these funding cuts.”
He said AMWUs national secretary David Johnston and the AMWUC were looking to recruit new members in aerospace, as a new Government would not be able to fund the jobs it was cutting.
“The AMWUnions national executive is looking to join the ranks of the aerospace workers in Australia and help us continue to build strong union structures and grow our members base,” he said.
But the AMU said it did not believe there would be enough space workers to fill the roles of the jobs that had been lost.
“We are concerned that the new Government is likely to cut back on our national funding and are seeking to work with the industry on the development of a viable alternative funding model for aerospace,” Mr McPhersonson said.
“However, this will be a difficult challenge as we are in a high-profile space engineering industry, where a substantial proportion of our workforce are employed in the space sector.”
He continued: “We are also worried that the Government is cutting the funding of AMWUSA [The Australian Space and Manufacturing Workers] which has provided vital support for AMW unions across the country, from the manufacture of aerospace components and components for satellite navigation systems to the development and testing of spacecraft.”
In its submission to the Federal Government, the AMUnions union also said it expected to see a reduction in its funding by $1.4 million.
There were currently around 200 AMUnion members in Australia, including its members in Queensland, Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia, Northern Territory and the Northern Territory.
The union also had more members in South Australia than it had in the previous year.
“While we understand the AMUnion will have difficulty meeting the demands of its members, we do not believe the funding will be sufficient to meet the workforce needs,” it said.
Mr Johnston said he believed the AMUs cuts would mean more space jobs would be lost in Australia.
He said the industry was currently “a big contributor” to jobs in the state, which was already “overwhelmed” with new space jobs.
“It’s very concerning that in the coming months the Government will be slashing funding to the aerospace sector.
It will have a massive impact on jobs in this industry,” he told ABC Radio.”
Our members are already being pushed back to their homes in Queensland to find jobs.”