The Illawarra Business Chamber (IBC) and Illawarra Industry Group (AIG) need to wake-up to themselves and stop taking cheap pot shots at workers in the region, Member for Shellharbour, Anna Watson said today.

“It would be far more productive if the IBC in particular placed some pressure on BlueScope Steel to finally level with the Illawarra community about its intentions to continue producing steel in the region.

“We’ve had a cone of silence from BlueScope Steel – an IBC and AIG member – for the last two months.

“While the region has been gripped by crisis, BlueScope Steel has stayed absolutely silent.

“This is not the way a major employer in the Illawarra should be treating its workers or the local community.

“The attack on workers and unions by the IBC and AIG today are cheap pot shots and will do nothing to assist the campaign to help save jobs and the steel industry in the Illawarra.

“The last thing we need in this region is business community representatives seeking to stoke and provoke unnecessary conflict by taking cheap pot shots at workers and unions in the steel industry in the region.

“BlueScope workers and their union representatives have a proven, long track record of helping to secure productivity and competitiveness in the region’s steel industry.

“These workers have shouldered the burden directly of steel industry restructuring over the last 31 years.

“They don’t need lectures from the IBC and AIG about how to conduct themselves as they face another crisis in the steel industry.

“As a regional local State MP who represents many BlueScope Steel workers and contractors, I won’t allow cheap pot shots by the IBC and AIG to go unanswered or unchallenged”, Ms Watson said.

13 August 2015