Crew members on the Manly Fast Ferries service between Circular Quay and Manly Harbour went on strike on April 3 for the second time as part of their ongoing campaign for improved wages and conditions.
Maritime Union of Australia (MUA)
Twelve months ago socialists from several different groups and backgrounds came together to see if they could get the first socialist elected to an Australian parliament in more 70 years.
In the very early hours of Sunday, July 29, the federal government carried out a highly secretive transport of spent nuclear fuel. Helicopters and hundreds of police accompanied trucks from the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology’s reactor at Lucas Heights to Port Kembla in New South Wales.
The Sydney University branch of the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) held a forum on campus on June 13 to discuss how to organise to rewin the right to strike.
Professor John Buchanan, from the University of Sydney Business School, told the forum: "The current Fair Work Act (FWA), introduced by the previous Labor government, is the second worst industrial relations legislation in Australian history, after John Howard's Work Choices.
'Class consciousness is knowing which side of the fence you’re on. Class analysis is figuring out who is there with you.' — Slogan from a 1970s poster, author unknown.
The newly formed "Industrial Left" faction of the Australian Labor Party (ALP) in Victoria combined with the right at the party's state conference on May 28 to block discussion about imposing a 90 day time limit on offshore detention.
About 700 members of the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) and other unions gathered at Sydney Town Hall on May 29, and marched to the offices of the Fair Work Commission (FWC) where a lively rally was held calling for an end to laws limiting the right to strike.
The action was organised around demands for the right to organise, right to strike and right to live.
This is an abridged version of an interview with assistant secretary of the Victorian Branch of the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) Jeff Hoy, which was broadcast on Green Left Radio on 3CR.
* * *
The wharfies are on strike at Webb Dock once again, 20 years after the infamous Patrick dispute. Can you tell us about the current strike and the factors that led to this industrial action?
Conflict has erupted on Melbourne’s waterfront after Qube Ports applied to terminate an enterprise agreement covering its Bulk & General operation. Members of the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) retaliated with a snap 48-hour strike over March 17–18 and declared bans on shifts greater than seven hours and on overtime.
If Qube’s application to terminate the Melbourne agreement is successful, it would be the first time an agreement has been terminated on the nation’s wharves.
"Australian merchant seafarers demand and expect to have the right to work in their own country" read a letter from the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) state secretary Bob Carnegie to the general manager of Rio Tinto.
The formation of a militant super-union has been given the go-ahead by the Fair Work Commission (FWC) in a decision announced on March 6.
Founding national secretary of the Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union (CFMMEU) Michael O'Connor welcomed the formation of the new union, created by the amalgamation of the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU), the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA), and the Textile, Clothing, and Footwear Union of Australia (TCFUA).