Manufacturing union ad campaign hits out at Australian mining industry

The Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union (AMWU) has hit out at Australia’s mining industry, claiming they make profit, don’t pay tax, and don’t support manufacturing.

AMWU and one of the brains behind the ABC’s The Chaser have launched a marketing campaign hosted on this website in response to the mining industry’s ‘This is our story’ campaign.

Australian Mining is hurting local manufacturing.The campaign, aptly titled ‘This is the real story’, includes a humorous video starring a cashed-up mining magnate called Allan Billison – who drives a green Lamborghini and carries around a suitcase full of cash (pictured alongside) – eating caviar wetted with red wine for breakfast; and shining his shoes with $100 notes.

“To all the sacked manufacturing workers I’d just like to say: there’s always plenty of work in the mining industry!” Billison says in the video.

“Are you going to employ the 2,000 sacked workers?” a journalist replies.

“Two thousand? Oh, well, we’ve got immediate openings for three people, 2,000 miles north of here…” says Billison.

The AMWU campaign also pokes fun at the mining industry’s struggle with Australia’s indigenous community over land rights.

“I’ve got it! Why don’t we set up an indigenous employment program that goes nowhere?” says Billison during another scene in the video.

“Another one?” says a co-worker.

Billison replies: “Yeah! It’ll deflect attention away from all the factory closures! Who’s got the most land?”


Later, in the privacy of his own office, the mining boss says: “Of course we’re not going to actually employ any of those people!”

Australia’s manufacturing and mining industries have been at loggerheads since the mining boom began and manufacturing started to decline.

“Mining is booming. Profits have never been higher. If you’re lucky enough to own a mining company, it’s great times. Of course, for the 98% of Australians not employed in mining, it’s a different story,” said AMWU.

“The soaring dollar has wiped out the ability of Australia to sell other stuff to the rest of the world. Unless Australian Mining starts putting back more into Australia, a million jobs face annihilation. This is the real story.”

The AMWU’s campaign also features a dubbed voiceover version of one of the mining industry’s ‘This is our story’ ads (see below), in which an environmental manager for a coal company tells how his job is to taste-test all the water used in the company’s mining process.

"Water is such a scarce resource in Australia," he says.

"And really, we’ve gotta be making sure we’re conserving and protecting water, because we use a shit-load of it in our mining operations."


The ‘This is the real story’ campaign comes a week after the government gained support from The Greens for the mining tax, to begin on 1 July 2012.

Coal and iron ore companies will pay a phased-in tax of 30% off their profits, starting with those recording $75 million, capped at $125 million.

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