AMMA acknowledges Paul Howes’ leadership



NATIONAL resource industry employer group AMMA acknowledges Paul Howes’ contribution to the union movement and industrial relations landscape, following today’s announcement that he will step down as national secretary of the Australian Workers’ Union (AWU) in July.


“AMMA and our members wish Paul Howes all the best in the next phase of his career,” AMMA chief executive Steve Knott says.


“In serving the union movement as national secretary of the AWU and vice president of the ACTU, Mr Howes has achieved a great deal in what is still a developing career. I have no doubt he will make a strong impact in his next position.”


Mr Knott acknowledged the important role of the AWU in the hard rock mining, metal smelting and oil and gas industries; all sectors in which AMMA members operate.


“During Mr Howes’ AWU leadership, AMMA has enjoyed both a constructive and sometimes robust relationship with the union and its officials. However, this has generally occurred in the prism of our respective members’ best interests,” he says.


“Mr Howes and I both take the representation of our members very seriously and as such have had some very public disagreements. Nonetheless, we have a strong history of constructive industrial relations away from the public eye and AMMA looks forward to continuing this with the AWU leadership.


“AMMA has also worked positively with Mr Howes behind the scenes to progress new resource project investment, another area in which we appreciate his support and insight.”


Mr Knott also urged the union movement to take note of Mr Howes’ recent recognition of Australia’s uncompetitive workplace relations environment.


“We urge Mr Howes’ successor and fellow leaders of the union movement to heed his warning that our tumultuous industrial relations system is damaging the economy. In particular, attention should be given to his criticism of unstainable wage inflation in the offshore sector, which is not conducive to a globally exposed industry,” he says.


“The union movement should work with resource employers and the Abbott Government to ensure our industry remains an attractive place to invest and employ people.


“AMMA wishes Mr Howes well in his next career move and looks forward to continuing a productive relationship with the AWU.”






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