The Maritime Union of Australia today applauded vibrant industrial relations for helping to deliver the best productivity figures Australian ports have ever seen.
The latest Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s Container Stevedoring and Monitoring Report found stevedoring prices are at their lowest level since monitoring began in the late 1990s.
In 2015 -16 wharf labour productivity reached a record level, while capital productivity was at close to record levels.
ACCC chairman Rod Sims said the latest results reflected increased competition and more infrastructure investment but MUA National Secretary Paddy Crumlin said the report neglected to mention the critical role trade unions play in productivity on the waterfront.
“It is disappointing that the ACCC hasn’t identified the contribution of stevedoring labour and functional industrial relations on the waterfront in driving these strong results,” Crumlin said.
“The report found labour productivity was at its lowest in Brisbane, where all 3 container terminals are automated. The highest achiever, Melbourne, has no automated terminals.
“The ACCC seems to have forgotten the MUA, so we’re happy to take credit for our part in functional industrial relations, notwithstanding the misguided rhetoric from some in the Federal Government and their ideological cheersquad.”
Crumlin singled out the Australian Mines and Metals Association (AMMA) and Abbott/Turnbull Government zealots such as Eric Abetz and Michaelia Cash.
“This report sends a message to employers who take too much of a cue from the ideological hardheads at AMMA and ideological zealots in the Turnbull Government who deliberately spread misinformation about unions for their own selfish political reasons,” Crumlin said.
“AMMA has consistently led a dysfunctional approach of employers in the offshore oil and gas sector, while others like BHP Billiton are trying to run so-called partnership agreements rather than engage in a genuine dialogue with their workforce.
“Coastal shipping is an area where reform is needed to ensure we have a vibrant maritime cluster in the future that provides jobs and skills for our next generation of seafarers, officers and captains.
“We look forward to continuing to work with the reasonable members of the Government to find a way forward – not just in shipping but also stevedoring through better safety in a new National Stevedoring Code of Practice.”
Media Contact: Darrin Barnett 0428 119 703
Photo Credit: Evan Sheard