UPDATE: 3.20PM About 3000 blue collar union members who rallied at Parliament against the Federal Government's enterprise migration agreements this afternoon marched through West Perth.
The workers, who marched from Parliament to the Ventnor Avenue premises of mining magnate Gina Rinehart's Hancock Prospecting, caused traffic jams and attracted attention from diners lunching on Hay Street.
Chanting "Gina Rinehart's full of s..t" and other union slogans, the workers called for job security for their children.
The rally and march is part of a campaign against EMAs led by the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union, construction, forestry, mining and energy unions, the Maritime Union of Australia and Communication Electrical and Plumbing Union.
They have accused the Federal Government and the Resource Industry of making a false case for the needs to import foreign workers.
The first company to be given the green light to bring in foreign workers under an EMA is Hancock Prospecting for its Roy Hill iron ore project in the Pilbara.
After reaching the Hancock Prospecting premises at about 1.10pm, the workers unfurled a banner reading "Aussie Resources … local jobs" on railing outside the building.
They also protested over a lack of local apprenticeships and government training, while deriding the so-called skills shortage in the resources industry as self-inflicted.
CFMEU national secretary Michael O’Connor said for too long governments and industry had ignored the looming skills shortage by not investing in local training.
Resource companies now wanted to take the cheap and easy option of importing workers, he said.
“The community has an unease about what’s happening in the mining sector,” Mr O’Connor said.
“What today’s about is backing up the things that we’ve been trying to get governments to do for the past 18 months to two years.
“We’re going to demonstrate that throughout the country.”
The Perth march coincided with another rally in Melbourne on Wednesday and will be followed by other protests around the nation, including Karratha and Port Hedland over the next two weeks.
Mr O’Connor said the unions were not “racist” in opposing imported workers and did not want to harm the mining industry.
“We’re a pro-mining union, so we’re not trying to harm the mining sector, we just want to make sure it is developed in a way that maximises jobs and maximises the benefits for the community,“ he said.
“A recent survey of the public showed that 60 per cent of Australians think that people want to bring in workers from overseas for one reason only, and that’s to reduce wages and conditions.”
Mr O’Connor said it was “hypocritical” of the WA and Federal governments and local industry to be complaining of a skills shortage when they had done little to alleviate it themselves.
“It’s very easy to fix this problem if people are working together and want to be practical,” he said.
“Just train local workers.”
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