Port Botany

A community assembly of more than 100 people marched onto the roadway outside Patrick Terminals terminal at Port Botany on May 4 and occupied the road for three hours, halting port operations for an entire shift.

The protesters were supporting of waterside workers at Patricks who are standing up to the company's attempts to de-unionise a section of the terminal.

The community assemblies at Port Botany in Sydney and Port of Brisbane continue to hold the line as the protracted process towards a settlement of the long-running dispute between Hutchison Ports and the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) continues. On November 6, the dispute over the controversial sacking of 97 Hutchison waterfront workers by text and email reached its 92nd day.

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.

The community assembly outside the Hutchison terminal at Port Botany is holding firm against a threat by the NSW Port Authority to evict the gathering from the entrance to the facility. There was a similar stand-off at Fishermans Island, Port of Brisbane.

The assemblies have been maintained for more than four weeks to protest against the sacking of 97 waterside workers by the giant Hutchison company, part of the biggest multinational stevedoring corporation in the world.

The Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) and Hutchison Ports management agreed on August 28 to sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU), which will result in all sacked workers at Port Botany and Port of Brisbane being reinstated for a further six weeks from August 31.

The battle continues at Hutchison Ports terminals in Sydney and Brisbane against the sacking of 97 waterside workers by the company on August 6.

The campaign for reinstatement of the workers and for the defence of jobs on the waterfront refuses to die.

The NSW Coalition government’s decision to privatise two large ports was announced in July last year. It expected to receive $3 billion from the sale.

NSW Treasurer Mike Baird said on April 12 that the consortium NSW Ports would buy 99-year leases for two of the state’s international ports — Port Botany for $4.31 billion and Port Kembla for $760 million. The total cost of the sale would be $5.07 billion.

An additional yearly lease payment of $5 million would be paid to the government and the annual on cap container movement of 3.2 million would be abolished for Port Botany.

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