Hutchison Ports Australia has finally put out a statement following their clandestine decision to sack 97 of its 224 workers in Sydney and Brisbane by text and email – effective immediately – at midnight last Thursday night.
Maritime Union of Australia National Secretary Paddy Crumlin said it was a Clayton’s Press Release – one that you put out when you don’t want to say anything.
“This has been a difficult decision …(Hutchison) has been unable to secure market share with leading shipping lines already committed to the existing operators under long-term contracts.” - Hutchison Ports Australia Chief Financial Officer Chee Keong Chan 8/7/15
Mr Crumlin said the statement from the company didn’t fit with reality and called on the company to release all labour data and modelling to determine the true nature and scope of any problem.
“Sacking workers by text and email – effective immediately – is not the Australian way. The MUA utterly rejects the suggestion that the company is reducing its Australian operations due to a lack of competitiveness,” Mr Crumlin said.
“Hutchison has been actively subcontracting its existing work out to other stevedores and no-one except the company knows why. Any business Hutchison has lost recently has been of its own choosing.
“The MUA believes this is a strategy to increase automation as there are no logical reasons why the company would otherwise give away profitable contracts.
“The union is seeking a fair and objective process where all labour data and modelling are put on the table to determine the true nature and scope of the problem.
“Employment Minister Eric Abetz has let the company off the hook and we expect this matter to be raised this week in federal parliament. Unemployment is rising and the Abbott Government’s continuing failure to stand up for Australian jobs is grating with the public.”
The matter will be heard by the Fair Work Commission at 5pm on Monday August 10.