ACCC Seaswift Sale Concerns Well Founded

The Maritime Union of Australia has welcomed the findings of the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission’s interim report on the proposed take over of Toll’s Northern Territory and Far North Queensland services by Seaswift.

Yesterday, the ACCC released its Statement of Issues on the proposed sale highlighting some of the commission’s concerns.

The MUA has long argued that the sale would be detrimental for the remote communities currently serviced by Toll.

MUA NT Branch Secretary Thomas Mayor said the concerns outlined by the ACCC were all relevant and as a result urged the commission to block the sale.

“This issue is very close to my heart and not just for the 140 jobs that are hanging in the balance,” Mayor said.

“Toll Marine, which was formerly Perkins, was a locally-run company that has provided an essential and reliable service for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities for many years now and the MUA has negotiated a new agreement that would provide training and ongoing employment for ATSI people.

“At this point, Seaswift have not made a similar written agreement. If Seaswift are successful in their bid to take over Toll all of those opportunities could be lost.”

In addition to the ACCC’s concerns, the MUA is concerned that Seaswift will outsource employment to interstate and potentially overseas workers.

“Seaswift has consistently refused to communicate their intentions to the current Toll Perkins workforce. There has been no commitment to local employment” Mr Mayor said.

“As a result we can only speculate that their intentions for the workforce are not good.”