Staff, 9 News
21 September 2015
In the latest push to secure future submarine building in South Australia, key unions and the state government have pledged there will be no strikes at the proposed Adelaide construction site.
The three unions at shipbuilder ASC's Osborne site - the AWU, AMWU and CEPU - on Monday signed the no-strike accord with the government, saying industrial disputes will not affect project delivery.
"So that whichever overseas bidder is chosen to build the future submarine project, they will have a workplace that is productive and co-operative," Premier Jay Weatherill told reporters at the site.
A similar agreement was reached ahead of the Air Warfare Destroyer contract and Mr Weatherill said unions had a long history of peaceful co-operation at the ASC site.
"It's precisely the sort of industrial environment which will allow us to successfully pursue this project," he said.
The premier has written to Australia's new Defence Minister Marise Payne asking for a meeting to stress the state's credentials to be the home of future submarine construction.
AWU assistant secretary Peter Lamps said the no-strike accord was not selling out workers' rights, and ensured disputes were resolved efficiently.
"All we're doing is reaffirming what we've been doing... at this site for the last 30 years," he said.
Before the accord was unveiled, West Australian Treasurer Mike Nahan labelled SA's shipbuilding industry a "basket case".
But Mr Weatherill said Mr Nahan's attitude was "destructive" and urged national co-operation on issues of defence.
"I just don't think it helps," he said.