Unemployment levels highest since 2002 – and will only get worse under a China Free Trade Agreement

Published: 6 Aug 2015



With Australia’s unemployment rising to 6.3 per cent – the highest it has been since 2002 – the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union says the jobless rate will worsen under a China Australia Free Trade Agreement.

“The China Australia Free Trade Agreement contains unprecedented provisions that sell out Australian workers,” CFMEU National Secretary Michael O’Connor said.

“Under the Agreement, Chinese companies will be able to bring in their own workers on projects worth as little as $150 million (down from $2 billion).

“This will lock qualified Australian workers out of many construction and mining projects.

“The Agreement will also allow Chinese companies to bring in semi-skilled workers for the first time.

“There is absolutely no justification or precedent for this, particularly when there are 800,000 Australians unemployed – the first time it has reached this number since 1994.

“Traditional industries have declined on the Abbott Government’s watch, with no plan for new job creation.

“And the anti-worker provisions in ChAFTA – if ratified by the Parliament – will continue to drive up unemployment.”

The CFMEU launched a television advertisement about the China Free Trade Agreement last week. 

The TV ad can be viewed here


Authorised by Michael O'Connor, National Secretary,165 Bouverie Street Carlton 3053