Maritime Workers Defend Their Crucial Role In Burgeoning Oil And Gas Industry

Protected action in offshore industry justified

The Maritime Union of Australia said protected industrial action planned by maritime workers employed by Farstad Shipping had been taken responsibly within the Fair Work Act and rejected claims of the action being "reckless or destructive".

"Any industrial action is always a last resort and taken only after serious consideration and the Union has carried out negotiations in good faith. The Union is ready to avoid any action through further negotiation with the employer", said Paddy Crumlin, National Secretary of the MUA. 

"The Australian Mines and Metals Association and other detractors should remember that Fair Work Australia gave the go ahead for this proposed action and these claims are not frivolous. we remain committed to a negotiated outcome.

"The employers' hysterical protestations and dissembling of the facts in the media reflect their poor application to the bargaining process. Nevertheless we will persist with the negotiations in both our members and the industry's best interests", Crumlin added.

"The Maritime union is seeking to have seafarers engaged in offshore construction to earn the same as riggers on vessels which, subject to negotiations, would be equivalent to an allowance of $200 to $300 and the union is prepared to have the payment phased in.

"The figure of $500 a day which has been mentioned by detractors is misleading. Workers are entirely justified in seeking an allowance for a construction role that makes additional specific demands on them, consistent with what other workers of the same skill level are paid working along side of them.