NUMSA commemorates the 100 year anniversary of the Russian Revolution

Australian MPs’ visit to giant aluminium manufacturer is to spark fresh outrage

28 April 2006, Posted in Press Releases

The Australian Members of Parliaments’ visit today(Saturday) at BHP Billiton’s Hillside

Aluminium factory in Richards Bay, Kwazulu-Natal is expected to spark fresh anger and

indignation among metalworkers.

Australian government recently ratified new labour market deregulation clauses which

encouraged casualisation and extensive liberalization of existing clauses in an effort to

increase labour flexibility laws.

The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa has vowed to mount furious protest

demonstrations against the visiting Australian MPs in support of vulnerable casual

workers in Australia since the introduction of the new flexible labour laws. Casual

employment is prevalent in Australia in that it has expanded in the private sector and in

the public service to more than 25% of employment population.

NUMSA is making preparations to display its displeasure at the visiting Australian MPs

unwelcome at their reception in the Richards’ Bay airport at 10:30 am Saturday (29

April, 2006), the union’s vice- president Cedric Gina said yesterday.

“Australia has consistently recorded one of the highest levels of temporary employment

among most countries. We have to show them they are not welcome here because labour

market deregulation in conjunction with structural economic change in their country has

resulted in the expansion of unregulated sphere of individual contracts governed by the

common law. That situation is not wanted in this country,” he said.

A group of Australian MPs will be visiting Saturday and are expected to drive through

the plant operations dressed in orange dustcoats. Their visit is managed by the Australian

Trade Commission in Pretoria.

For more information contact Mziwakhe Hlangani, National information officer at 082

940 7116.