Despite economic uncertainties caused by COVID-19, dock workers in Melbourne have overwhelmingly rejected a non-union enterprise agreement offered by management, reports Sue Bull.
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.
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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?
Despite court action by the Victorian International Container Terminal (VICT) against unions and key union leaders, support for the community assembly at Webb Dock is growing.
At the annual Geelong Trades Hall Council (GTHC) President’s Night on December 12, a solidarity motion with the community assembly was carried unanimously. The 100-strong gathering also agreed to mobilise the community on New Year’s Day 2018.
On December 8, national president of the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) Christy Cain told a peaceful assembly of trade unionists and their supporters that every dock in Melbourne had been closed.
On that day, some 3000 trade unionists attended a rally at Webb Dock in Port Melbourne called by Victorian Trades Hall Council (VTHC) in support of MUA members protesting the bullying, harassment and sacking of their members.