Hutchison verdict looms

September 18, 2015

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.

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