Hutchison Ports hit with strike

Hutchinson wharfies on strike in Sydney.

Hutchison Ports workers in Sydney and Brisbane walked off the job for 24 hours on April 5 to protest the company’s ongoing refusal to move away from outsourcing jobs and the overseas remote-controlling of already semi-automated equipment.

Speaking about the strike action, Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) assistant national secretary Warren Smith said: “Outsourcing our jobs for greater profit and remote controlling to workers that may be paid $2 per hour will continue to be challenged by the workforce and their union.

“Wharfies’ work is wharfies’ work, and we will resist every effort to give that work to others, regardless of how much or little they get paid; we suspect little in this case.”

MUA Queensland assistant branch secretary Paul Petersen said: “This is not a fight about wages; this is a fight for basic conditions, job security and not having our jobs outsourced overseas.

“It’s about automation and not being replaced by a robot, and most importantly it’s about being able to work in a safe environment free from harassment.”

MUA Sydney branch secretary Paul McAleer said: “Hutchison’s notorious anti-union agenda around the world is attempting to sink the wages and conditions, job security and health and safety of wharfies in Sydney and Brisbane.

“Their plan to be the budget airways of Australian stevedores seeks to undermine decades of work to create jobs with justice and dignity, all so they can return more profits to one of the richest men on Earth.

“The MUA will fight this billionaire for as long as it takes to win an enterprise agreement that our members can be proud of.”