NEW MAERSK MANAGEMENT AT FARSTAD SEND OUT NON-UNION AGREEMENT
On Thursday night Farstad formally asked MUA members to vote on a new non-union offshore agreement. Because Farstad already have an in term agreement in place they have tried to create a non-union agreement by asking our members to vote on a variation to the current agreement.
As most members will appreciate this is a complete about turn for Farstad and has come about because of the new senior management team at Farstad who have come across from Maersk. Many will remember that it was Maersk who were amongst the first in the offshore to send out a non-union agreement back in September 2015 and were part of the infamous AMMA 5. The 2 senior managers at Maersk who ran out the non-union agreement for Maersk as part of the AMMA 5 are now the 2 senior managers at Farstad after Farstad moved their entire operations to WA.
We have had problem after problem with the new management team at Farstad as they have sought to assert themselves and their anti-union management style. They have reneged on previously agreed positions and at times sought to undermine current EBA clauses. In fact to give an idea of just how bad things are going one of our members was refused a year’s unpaid leave to look after his sick mother who has cancer. This leave was refused by this new management team even though Farstad has a lack of work that has resulted in job share arrangements to keep people employed. There could be no better set of circumstances to approve such leave but this has not deterred the current team from being nothing more than obstructionist around an issue that needs compassion and suits the current work situation.
This is simply one example of the continued disputation we have had with this outfit since the Maersk Muppets turned up. And now we have an attempt to bring in a non-union agreement that they tried unsuccessfully to do at Maersk. The campaign to oppose this non-union agreement is being run out as we speak and we will continue our campaign directly with our Farstad membership.
NEGOTIATIONS CONTINUE AT GO OFFSHORE AND MERMAIDS
Negotiations have continued at Go Offshore as the MUA withdrew its protected action ballot application to try and close out the Go agreement. After the MUA had put the application into Fair Work for protected action a significant amount of compromise by Go resulted in the MUA withdrawing the application to see if we could conclude the agreement. We are working through costings and the like now and will update in future offshore updates.
There have been some high-level talks with senior levels of management at Mermaids including Jeff Weber and Paddy Crumlin which have allowed us to progress matters beyond the stalemate that had occurred. The matter is still before Fair Work preventing us form giving a detailed update but we should be clear about our position over the next week or so.
DOF NEGOTIATIONS TO COMMENCE AS PART OF JUDICIAL REVIEW PROCESS
We are now in the process of trying to arrange 2 days of negotiations with DOF management as part of the process agreed to through the Stay connected to the DOF Judicial Review. If these 2 days are successful it has been agreed that a further 2 will be conducted.
We will update as this process gets underway.
MUA OFFSHORE UPDATE MEETINGS CONTINUE IN SOUTH AUSTRALIA AND TASMANIA OVER THE NEXT 2 WEEKS
Over the next 2 weeks Deputy National Secretary Will Tracey and National President and WA Branch Secretary Chris Cain will conduct further Branch meetings to update our offshore membership on the full status of the offshore EA, the long and complex campaign to secure our right to work in our industry and the upcoming agreement to secure work on Australia’s next big offshore project. A newspaper article from Friday’s Financial Review is included at the end of this offshore update.
The first meeting is this coming week for our offshore membership in South Australia and is this Thursday, March 9th, from 0900 to 1100 in the SA Branch Union office.
The next meeting for our Tasmanian membership will be Tuesday the following week, March 14th, in the Tasmanian Branch in Devonport. It starts at 1100 to allow for any of our Tasmanian members to travel to the meeting.
It is critical that our membership in the 2 branches above make every effort they can to attend these crucial updates on your industry. We have had great turnouts around the country so far.
Again, details of the meetings over the next 2 weeks are:
Thursday March 9th – South Australian Branch – 0900 to 1100 – SA Branch meeting room
Tuesday March 14th – Tasmanian Branch –1100 to 1300 – Tasmanian Branch office in Devonport