Hutchison Campaign Garners Outside Support

Monday's demonstration at Hutchison’s Terminal was a tremendous event with workers from all sectors of the industry, community members, politicians, and a host of out fraternal unions taking the fight up to Hutchison's doors at Port Botany.

Hundreds of angry wharfies and their supporters stormed on the Hutchison building at Port Botany in protest of the company’s decision to sack almost half of its workforce.

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Hundreds of angry wharfies and their supporters stormed on the Hutchison building at Port Botany in protest of the company’s decision to sack almost half of its workforce.

The Maritime Union of Australia is in a serious struggle with the Hong Kong- based stevedore after the multi-billion dollar company announced, without warning, that it would be scrapping 100 workers from its two terminals in Brisbane and Sydney.

Hutchison was using textbook union busting tactics in offloading shipping contracts in order to increase casualisation and undermine current conditions.

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Assistant National Secretary Warren Smith said the company had not lost contracts and that the company was subcontracting vessels to Patrick and DP World.

"This is a manipulation and a rort by Hutchison that we will fight to the end," Smith said.

"Manipulating contracts and colluding with the other port operators in order to manufacture redundancies is just not acceptable. This is a plot to remove union delegates and activists and bring in a disposable, casual, pliable workforce when the contracts mysteriously reappear.

"Hutchison ought to know that the MUA is not naïve to its tactics and we are gearing up to fight for the long-haul."


After a successful stop work meeting with the Hutchison workers at the seafarers club, a rally was staged and was attended by other wharfies from Patrick and DP World as we as with workers from ever, as well as unionists from the CFMEU, RTBU, TWU, FBEU, community supporters and family members.

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After rousing speeches from Rita Mallia (CFMEU), Mark Lennon (UnionsNSW), Jim Casey (FBEU), Matt Thistlethwaite (ALP), David Shoebridge (The Greens) in addition to the MUA’s Warren Smith, MUA Veteran Fred Krausert, ex-MUA official Barry Robson and all of the Sydney Branch Officials – Paul McAleer, Paul Keating, Paul Garrett and Joe Deakin.

Hutchison delegate and former footballer, Craig Hancock, also graced the back of the ute with the loudspeaker before the crowd marched onto Hutchison, only to be greeted by a big police presence and security guards, preventing anyone entry into the building.

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"This campaign is one we will fight to the end. We will be using ever lever at our disposal to ensure that this anti-union attack is repelled," Smith said.


Hutchison is:

Automating without negotiation
Automating as union busting
Manipulating contracts to create a false redundancy
Aiming to sack union delegates and activists

MUA is demanding:

Information and data, including labour modelling be provided to the union to enable transparent and correct decisions to be made
Automation with negotiation
The right to return to your job if made redundant
Objective and fair negotiated redundancy selection processes
A meeting with the company not conducted in a legal framework but an environment


 

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It was outside of Hutchison that the scores of messages of international solidarity were read out. They can be viewed here (under construction).

Photos from the rally can be viewed here.

The campaign is ongoing.