Big Win For MUA Tugs

The MUA has won an important victory against a tugboat operator trying to sneakily put through a new greenfields agreement which excluded members.

Late in 2010, it was brought to the attention of the MUA that Northern Territory and South Australia tugboat operator Coastal Tug and Barge (CTB) had made application to Fair Work Australia for a Greenfields EBA to be approved to cover their 16m tugboat 'Karama' in the Port of Darwin.

It had since become apparent that CTB had created the Agreement to which the AMOU was a party to, but excluded the MUA.

Union officials went to Darwin this week for a Fair Work Australia hearing, in the process convincing the other parties to withdraw their application.

Assistant National Secretary Ian Bray said the outcome was a sensible solution to what potentially had major ramifications for GPHs in ongoing employment in the towage industry.

"No resource was spared to ensure we got the right result to protect our members' involvement in the industry," Mr Bray said.

"The significance of the win should not be underestimated and may yet prove to be one of the most important and strategic wins for our members in the towage industry in recent years."

"I'd like to acknowledge the contribution of the legal team and Assistant Sydney Branch Secretary Paul Garrett in what was an exceptional effort."

Mr Garrett said: "This big win for the MUA is maintining our members' positions on the deck of tugs. This is a significant victory for members in the towage industry."