All uniforms and clothing for essential services and government workers such as police, firefighters, ambulance officers and Defence Force workers should be made in Australia, say unions.
The ACTU today called for State and Federal Governments to require all uniforms and clothing to be made in Australia whenever possible.
ACTU President Sharan Burrow said it is appalling that thousands of Australians are losing their jobs in the textile and clothing sector while Federal Government agencies fail to require clothing and uniform suppliers to make their products locally.
ACTU President Sharan Burrow said:
“It is unacceptable that Australian taxpayers should pay for essential services workers to be clothed in uniforms made offshore, when they can and should be made here.
“This is a concrete and practical way for all State and Federal Governments to support local jobs,” she said.
“Governments could save thousands of jobs simply by making it a requirement that essential services uniforms are made locally.
“Two thousand workers stand to lose their jobs at Pacific Brands and yet the company currently supplies clothing to the Australian Defence Force, Victoria Police, NSW Fire Brigade and Queensland ambulance services.
“None of these government supply contracts specify that Pacific Brands must manufacture the garments locally.
“Next week’s Federal Budget should contain extra support for Australia’s textile clothing and footwear industry.
“It is vital that the Budget makes infrastructure and other government spending conditional on suppliers maximizing local jobs and content,” said Ms Burrow.