Double Win With Maersk

Unions have scored two key victories for workers rights with global shipping and stevedoring giant Maersk this week - one on the homefront in the joint MUA/AWU campaign to have the company negotiate a collective agreement with rig workers off the NW coast and one in Mumbai India where Maersk has agreed to order a company contractor found to be hiring thugs to beat up workers to settle an agreement with the unionised workforce following a six month ITF campaign.


Multinational shipping giant, Maersk, has agreed to step in to ensure that a satisfactory outcome is reached in collective bargaining negotiations between Indian port drivers and a contractor.

Global union federation the International Transport Workers' Federation has put shipping and port giant Møller-Maersk on notice that it has to get rid of one of its contractors allegedly attacking port drivers in Mumbai, India.

Despite intense negotiations between the ITF and the Danish company to settle the issue since the first attacks took place in 2007, further violent assaults were alleged to have been perpetrated in recent months.

MUA National Secretary, ITF Dockers Chair and executive board member Paddy Crumlin has been directly involved with the ITF and the Mumbai dockers union campaign for an end to the brutality.

"We will not stand by and allow this bloodshed to continue," he said.  "It has to stop and the company has to take responsibility."


MEANWHILE  A two year campaign gets enterprise agreement with Maersk on the drill rig Nan Hai 6

The MUA/AWU Offshore Alliance has after a two year campaign got the enterprise agreement with Maersk to a point for the crews to consider in a vote.

MUA-AWU Offshore Alliance representatives met with Maersk on Tuesday March 12 and again in the presence of Fair Work Australia on March 13.

These discussions were triggered after the Alliance ran a high profile media and online campaign which suggested we would invite the Australian-born Crown Princess Mary of Denmark to stand up for Aussie rig workers.

The Danish Royal Family are regular boosters of Maersk - the world's biggest shipping company. They regularly enjoy the hospitality of the very wealthy owners of the shipping line.

More than 800 e-mail protests sent

More than 800 supporters of Aussie rig workers and supporters sent off protest emails (330 from the MUA website alone in 3 days!); that seemed to bring Maersk to the table very very quickly.

The outcome of this week's meetings is that Maersk have agreed to the below matters to be included in the proposed agreement to go out to ballot.

  • A $2500 sign on bonus if agreement is signed ( replaces Back pay from July 1 2009, taxable and able to salary sacrifice)
 First 5% pay rise from Jan 1 2010, then 5% pay rises July 1 2010, 2011 and 2012 equates to 20% over 3 and a ½ years.
 Back Pay from the first of January 2010( able to salary sacrifice)
 Health insurance for either single employees , or employee and their family on proof of address
 Income protection if injured at work ( current work cover only covers up to $2026.10 per week) Income protection covers the difference
 5 days bereavement / compassionate leave per occasion
 The $2500 sign on bonus has been agreed that it is payable to employees who will be covered by the agreement and employees that elect to remain on their Australian Workplace Agreements.
 Alliance organisers will be visiting the rig in the near future to progress the voting