MACKAY: Fight for Jobs Escalates with Looming Election

The Liberal-National Government is campaigning on a platform of jobs and growth at the same time jobs are being haemorrhaged from many industries.

As a result the MUA campaigned outside of George Chritsensen's office in Mackay on Friday, along with other concerned workers and ALP candidate for Dawson Frank Gilbert.

A fortnight ago 20 tugboat workers who worked at Hay Point were sacked after their company lost its contract with BHP Billiton-Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA).

Rivtow Marine - a notorious non-union operator that exploits a loophole in employment law to sham contract its jobs – won the contract with the mining giant.

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Gilbert said it was a disgrace that the loophole, in the form of partnership agreements, were able to be used in the towage sector.

"They want seamen to take on a partnership agreement that takes away every single thing we've fought for, for over one hundred years in the labour movement," he said.

MUA Assistant National Secretary Ian Bray said it was hugely ironic that local Liberal National member George Christensen would echo Turnbull’s three-word slogan of ‘Jobs and Growth’ knowing that Queensland unemployment is at 6.4 per cent.

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“Almost immediately after the Government was elected in 2013 the unemployment rate in Queensland rocketed above six per cent and has remained there ever since,” Bray said.

“Empty rhetoric is all the Liberals can seem to manage, which is why the tugboat workers from Hay Point are not holding their breath for any kind of action from Chistensen, despite him voicing his disappointment upon hearing about the job losses.”

The 20 tugboat workers had been loyal and hard working, however they were not being offered new jobs with the new operator.

“It says something about the direction of this country under the current Government that you can be happily working and contributing to society one day and joining the dole queue without a reasonable explanation the next,” Bray said.