MUA stands firm against union busting at Port Botany

Port Botany in Sydney. Photo: Maritime Union of Australia
Wednesday, April 12, 2017

MUA Warns Historic Peace on the Docks Under Threat within Patrick’s Terminal

The Maritime Union of Australia warns Qube Logistics is threatening the newly-struck national peace on the docks by opening a small, effectively non-unionised container yard within Patrick’s Port Botany Terminal.

Less than five months ago, the MUA and Patrick Stevedores celebrated a win for all, after union members nationally voted more than 95 percent in favour of a new four-year workplace agreement.

Dubbed the “best deal on the docks in many years” it delivered stability and marked a new beginning between old foes, the MUA and Patrick’s, as well as its workforce.

But MUA Deputy National Secretary Will Tracey said that was now under serious threat.

“Why would Qube want to jeopardise future contracts at this commercially sensitive time by starting a dispute at this small container yard, when it is has just invested around $1 billion in Patrick’s and is seeking new business for its Moorebank Logistics Park?” Tracey said.

“Qube is already on the back foot trying to make up business in highly competitive market after Patrick’s lost its lucrative A3 shipping contract to DP World and Hutchison last year.”

In its half-yearly report released in February this year, Qube acknowledged the need to: “mitigate the loss of the A3 consortium contract which Patrick was unsuccessful at retaining and has reduced Patrick’s earnings from November 2016 onwards.”

The empty container park, fenced off inside the Patrick’s Terminal, was recently sub-leased to Qube. The container company told the MUA in February this year, the site was not part of the Patrick business, and therefore not covered by the MUA workplace agreement.

Despite 260 MUA members working at Patrick’s Port Botany Terminal, no MUA member has been employed inside the fenced-off area.

- See more at: http://www.mua.org.au/mua_warns_historic_peace_on_the_docks_under_threat...

MUA Warns Historic Peace on the Docks Under Threat within Patrick’s Terminal

The Maritime Union of Australia warns Qube Logistics is threatening the newly-struck national peace on the docks by opening a small, effectively non-unionised container yard within Patrick’s Port Botany Terminal.

Less than five months ago, the MUA and Patrick Stevedores celebrated a win for all, after union members nationally voted more than 95 percent in favour of a new four-year workplace agreement.

Dubbed the “best deal on the docks in many years” it delivered stability and marked a new beginning between old foes, the MUA and Patrick’s, as well as its workforce.

But MUA Deputy National Secretary Will Tracey said that was now under serious threat.

“Why would Qube want to jeopardise future contracts at this commercially sensitive time by starting a dispute at this small container yard, when it is has just invested around $1 billion in Patrick’s and is seeking new business for its Moorebank Logistics Park?” Tracey said.

“Qube is already on the back foot trying to make up business in highly competitive market after Patrick’s lost its lucrative A3 shipping contract to DP World and Hutchison last year.”

In its half-yearly report released in February this year, Qube acknowledged the need to: “mitigate the loss of the A3 consortium contract which Patrick was unsuccessful at retaining and has reduced Patrick’s earnings from November 2016 onwards.”

The empty container park, fenced off inside the Patrick’s Terminal, was recently sub-leased to Qube. The container company told the MUA in February this year, the site was not part of the Patrick business, and therefore not covered by the MUA workplace agreement.

Despite 260 MUA members working at Patrick’s Port Botany Terminal, no MUA member has been employed inside the fenced-off area.

- See more at: http://www.mua.org.au/mua_warns_historic_peace_on_the_docks_under_threat...

The Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) is standing firm against an attempt by Patrick Terminals (Patricks) to open a new non-union depot at Port Botany. Unionists and community members will hold an assembly at Port Botany on April 30 to protest the company’s attempt to undermine a hard fought for workplace agreement.

The MUA warned in early April that a new workplace agreement with Patricks was under threat if the company allowed a new container company, Qube Logistics, to hire non-union labour at its Port Botany Terminal.

The MUA said on April 9 that Qube Logistics was threatening “peace” on the docks by opening a small, effectively non-unionised container yard within Patricks’ Port Botany Terminal. Patricks sub-leased the empty container park, fenced off inside the Patrick Terminal, to Qube.

MUA deputy national secretary Will Tracey asked why Qube “would want to jeopardise future contracts at this commercially sensitive time by starting a dispute at this small container yard”.

Less than five months ago, the MUA and Patricks agreed to a new four-year workplace agreement, with about 95% of workers in favour. The MUA said the agreement had “marked a new beginning between old foes, the MUA and Patricks, as well as its workforce”.

Tracy said that this agreement was now under serious threat. “Qube is already on the back foot trying to make up business in highly competitive market after Patricks lost its lucrative A3 shipping contract to DP World and Hutchison last year,” Tracy explained.

Qube told the MUA in February that, as the site was not part of Patrick’s Containers, it was not covered by the MUA workplace agreement. Despite about 260 MUA members working at Patrick’s Port Botany Terminal, no MUA member has been employed inside the fenced-off area.

MUA Sydney branch secretary Paul McAleer described Patrick’s attempts to “compartmentalise” the Port Botany Terminal as either an attempt to de-unionise the terminal or to source cheap labour.

He said the MUA would not let Patricks undermine hard-won working conditions and wages of wharfies or restrict job opportunities for our members.

The MUA is asking supporters to tweet their support to @MaritimeUnionAU

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