The CWU hosted a meeting of several unions on Wednesday 10 September with a view to widening its campaign against the offshoring of Australian jobs.
The meeting was attended by representatives of the Financial Services Union (FSU), the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU), the Australian Services Union (ASU), Professionals Australia (formerly APESMA) and the printing division of the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU).
All these unions have experience of off-shoring and have been involved in campaigns against it, so there was no shortage of ideas or commitment around the table. It was agreed though that thought needed to be given to the appropriate focus and strategy for this next phase of campaigning.
The CWU’s campaign has recently focussed on the offshoring of higher skilled technical jobs, largely in response to Telstra’s current moves in this area. For other unions, though, the emphasis may be more on the customer contact and back of house work that are being lost.
The unions are aware of the need to develop a strategy that reflects what is occurring in these different sections of the Australian workforce.
There is no “silver bullet” that can easily be used to stop the current drain of work and skills out of the country. The CWU is confident, however, that its campaign can help increase pressure on companies and on our politicians to address this threat to the employment opportunities of present and future Australians.