Hutchison verdict looms


A resolution of the long-running dispute between the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) and Hutchison Ports is reported to be near, as the community assemblies continue at the terminals at Port Botany and the Port of Brisbane.

A further hearing in Fair Work Australia is due in the week beginning September 21.

The dispute began on August 6, with the midnight sacking by text and email of 97 waterside workers at the two ports.

Following a Federal Court injunction, the sacked workers are back on the payroll, but are not being rostered on to work.

Community assemblies are being maintained outside the gates of the Hutchison terminals in both cities, with strong support from waterside workers at other stevedoring companies and the wider union movement, as well as the public generally. The MUA is demanding full reinstatement of all workers before any decision on redundancies can occur.

One Hutchison worker told Green Left Weekly on September 18: "We are hoping the dispute is settled soon, fairly and justly."

Another sacked Hutchison worker said: "We need a new terminal management at Hutchison or we'll be back in the same predicament within weeks. The current company executive committee is incompetent.

"Even now, with half the workforce back in the gate, a ship stood at the dock for eight hours not being worked last Saturday because management didn't allocate labour correctly.

"The company is trying to blame the union and the EBA for their problems. But they need to get a new terminal manager with experience in the industry to try to sort out their problems."

Supporters of the Hutchison workers are welcome to attend the community assemblies at Port Botany and Brisbane at any time.

Visit the MUA website for more information.

Like the article? Subscribe to Green Left now! You can also like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

If you like our work, become a supporter

Green Left is a vital social-change project and aims to make all content available online, without paywalls. With no corporate sponsors or advertising, we rely on support and donations from readers like you.

For just $5 per month get the Green Left digital edition in your inbox each week. For $10 per month get the above and the print edition delivered to your door. You can also add a donation to your support by choosing the solidarity option of $20 per month.

Freecall now on 1800 634 206 or follow the support link below to make a secure supporter payment or donation online.