Fair Go for Ferry Workers

The fundamental industrial right to collectively bargain is being denied to 50 ferry workers.

Manly Fast Ferries, which operates between Circular Quay and Manly, has adopted a whole host of anti-worker, union-busting tactics, to discourage its workforce from organising to obtain a better deal.


As a result more than 100 workers and their supporters staged a demonstration outside of the company’s Circular Quay terminal.

Speakers included Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon, Unions NSW Secretary Mark Lennon and Sydney Branch Officials Paul McAleer, Joe Deakin and Paul Garrett. The latter of which has been integral in pushing for an Enterprise Agreement.

Garrett said Manly Fast Ferries was one of the most antagonistic employers he had ever encountered.


“This is a company, that despite operating a monopoly on a seven-year Government contract, flouts the rules,” Garrett said.

“The workers are denied breaks, work up to 10 hours at a time and have not received a pay rise in at least three years. This is a company that’s keen on hyper-casualisation and has been known to single out union members in what we’re calling ‘Death by Roster’.

“In addition to this we have been made aware of serious safety and environmental breaches.

“All we’re asking for, is a fair go for ferry workers.”

Next week Workcover will visit the worksite to install Health and Safety Representatives and inspect the vessels.


Garrett asked why a company in possession of such a lucrative Government contract was operating with very little scrutiny.

“The MUA has only begun to scratch the surface of this company and it has already revealed ingrained bastardy, I can only imagine what further digging will uncover.”

For all of the photos click here.