Published: 22 Nov 2016
The Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) will lead a campaign to overturn a disgraceful decision by the Banyule Council in Victoria to destroy local jobs by sourcing their paper from overseas.
The so called “ethical paper pledge” locks out locally manufactured paper including 100% recycled paper produced in the under pressure Latrobe Valley.
The Council’s decision shows a complete disregard for the 1000 jobs in the Latrobe Valley and hundreds at neighbouring Darebin Council’s envelope manufacturing plant.
“This is a slap in the face to the 6000 workers in Victoria and their families and communities who rely on the local paper manufacturing industry,” said CFMEU National Secretary Michael O’Connor.
“It’s an ignorant short sighted decision based on false claims about the sustainability of paper manufactured locally.”
“Our union’s members will campaign in the community to get the facts out and pressure the decision makers until the decision is overturned and local paper is used instead of imports.”
The decision came after an unelected “Environment Advisory Committee” made a recommendation to Council without any consultation with workers who would be impacted or their representatives.
Last year Australian Paper commissioned a $90 million state of the art recycling plant which has the capacity to divert 80,000 tonnes of waste paper from Victorian landfill and produce 20 million reams of paper if councils like Banyule got on board and purchased Australian made.”
Instead of participating in a closed loop recycling system and purchasing truly ethically produced paper in Australia which supports jobs they have vowed to continue to import paper from overseas.
“The newly elected council is off to a shocking start.
“From the Mayor down, to the mover and seconder of this ridiculous motion, questions must be asked.
“They should know better and since they obviously don’t they should do some research before they put more pressure on workers, families and communities,” concluded Mr O’Connor.