ANOTHER 200 Hunter manufacturing jobs are to go with redundancies from shipbuilder Forgacs and equipment maker Sandvik.
Sandvik has confirmed that 103 jobs will go from its Heatherbrae business – the bulk of a national job cut of 167.
Forgacs, which is building hull modules for naval destroyers being assembled in South Australia, has confirmed plans for about 100 redundancies from its Tomago and Carrington shipyards.
The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union, which represents workers at both companies, says the job losses are a failure of government policy.
It expects further job losses, especially at Forgacs, if no new work can be found this year.
Newcastle organiser Benn Billingsley said Sandvik, a Swedish multinational, was shutting its Australian manufacturing capacity in favour of plants in China, Austria and India.
Mr Billingsley said that about 250 people would be left at Heatherbrae once the redundancies took effect.
At least some of the job losses were related to the downturn in the mining industry.
‘‘But if state and federal governments don’t support manufacturing in the forms of ships and trains then you can hardly expect those companies that service manufacturing to hang on,’’ Mr Billingsley said.
Forgacs chief executive Lindsay Stratton said about 100 positions would be made redundant with trades, manufacturing and administrative roles all affected.
Mr Stratton said the company had been very open about the need to cut jobs as the destroyer work wound down towards its finish in September next year.
Manufacturing workers union organiser Daniel Wallace said about 25 Forgacs jobs would be saved because the company had won the contract to build a Tongan landing craft but that contract was too small to carry the company through the ‘‘shipbuilding valley of death’’ that the industry and unions had warned about.
Sandvik’s Australian manager Rowan Melrose said the company was moving ‘‘the bulk of its Australian manufacturing offshore’’.
Manufacturing would end at Sandvik’s Heatherbrae and Perth outlets as part of a plan to ‘‘optimise the supply chain around the world’’.
Mr Melrose said the redundancies would take place over the coming 12 months but Mr Billingsley said the first job losses would be felt within weeks.
■ THE opposition says it has the numbers in the Senate for an inquiry into Australian naval shipbuilding, but the government insists the industry’s problems are the fault of Labor.
Charlton MP Pat Conroy said the opposition’s defence spokesman, Senator Stephen Conroy, had tabled a motion calling for an Economics References Committee inquiry to report by July next year.
He said he wanted the inquiry to sit in Newcastle and meet Forgacs workers.