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Fun on the catwalk as government considers fate of TCF jobs
Sep '08
The Textile Clothing and Footwear Union of Australia (TCFUA) will erect a fashion catwalk in Parliament House this morning so some of Australia's favourite politicians can strut their stuff and show-off their Australian-made threads.

The Government has received Professor Roy Green's report from the review of the textile clothing and footwear (TCF) industry and is due to publicly release it shortly. Surviving a decade of neglect under the Howard Government which saw over 40,000 TCF job losses, the industry today employs 48,200 manufacturing workers in the regulated sector and many thousand others as outworkers in the informal sector.

In Canberra to promote the Union's vision for an innovative, clean, green and local TCF industry, the TCFUA's new National Secretary, Michele O'Neil, said the Government's response to the review could help spark a renaissance in the manufacturing of quality and ethical Australian-made products.

“Our Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, has said he wants Australia to be a country that actually makes things. Well this is his big chance to step up to the plate and support Australian TCF jobs by ensuring Australia's talented designers have a vibrant Australian manufacturing sector to put Australian-made clothes back on our backs and onto the world stage,” Ms O'Neil said.

As part of its 'Make it Well, Make it Fair, Make It Here' Campaign, the TCFUA is calling on the Rudd Government to establish a new TCF industry plan that supports and develops an innovative, smart, ethical and green industry and guarantees Australian TCF workers receive decent wages and conditions. The Union is also calling for a freeze on tariffs and for the expansion of industry assistance to support and create quality skilled jobs.

“Today with our catwalk here in Parliament House, we're inviting people to imagine a day when clothes worn by our politicians are made in Australia by workers receiving fair and decent pay, because our Prime Minister has the opportunity to make that a reality by investing in a smart, clean, green and innovative industry,” Ms O'Neil said.

Following the catwalk event, Ms O'Neil and fifty TCF workers from all over Australia will be spending the day in Parliament House to meet with MPs about the Government's response to Professor Green's review and to urge them to be proud and public in their support of Australia's TCF industry.

Textile Clothing and Footwear Union of Australia

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