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Strike Looms at Australia's Fremantle Port

By MarEx 2012-12-14 09:52:34

The MUA has responded to Troy Buswell’s denial of a plan to privatise the Port of Fremantle by calling on the Barnett Government to guarantee no worker will be worse off if it goes ahead.

“If there’s no privatisation plan, why is the Government refusing to sign?” said Will Tracey, Assistant State Secretary of the MUA Western Australia Branch.

“This dispute is about a clause that only comes into effect if the Barnett Government privatises port operations. 

"In response to media articles that there is a secret plan to privatise the ports, Mr Buswell says he won't privatise but he also won't put it in the agreement.

“MUA workers want to work but they want to know that their jobs are secure.

"We’ve offered to cancel the strike and let the independent umpire decide but Mr Buswell refuses to participate in arbitration.

"In the Fair Work Australia hearings, Commissioner Cloghan noted that described the Government’s refusal to arbitrate as 'adopting the law of the jungle.'

"Mr Buswell says no such clause would ever be signed but the fact is that the Barnett Government agreed to a similar clause for the Health Agreement with United Voice only two weeks ago.

"Why is the Barnett Government happy to rule out privatisation of hospital assets but not our ports, which are critical to national security and our economy?

“Troy Buswell is playing politics with Fremantle Port workers' jobs and this is putting pressure on their families just in time for Christmas.

“Port workers are worried about their job security and they aren't willing accept Mr Buswell on his word alone. If he means what he says and there is nothing to hide, he’d sign the EBA.

An eight-day stoppage is due to commence on Monday. 

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Source: Maritime Union of Australia

This is an official media release from the MUA.