Media Release: Fremantle Port Authority Forces Strike

The Fremantle Port Authority has rejected a last minute offer from the MUA to call off a strike due to commence at 5:30am on Monday 17 December. After months of negotiations, Fremantle Port Authority workers are seeking assurance that any privatisation of port operations will not see the currently workforce sacked en mass.

The Fremantle Port Authority has rejected a last minute offer from the MUA to call off a strike due to commence at 5:30am on Monday 17 December.

 

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After months of negotiations, Fremantle Port Authority workers are seeking assurance that any privatisation of port operations will not see the currently workforce sacked en mass. 

Will Tracey, Assistant WA State Secretary of the Maritime Union of Australia said: "There are no pay and conditions issues in this dispute. The only argument left is what happens if the government privatises. People with 20, 30, 40 years of service at the port deserve a fair go if Mr Buswell plans to sell.

“Troy Buswell has previously promised he won’t privatise, and this clause only matters if they privatise. The MUA has made fresh offers to the Port and State Government to resolve the dispute.

“We’ve promised to negotiate in good faith regarding redundancies in the case they privatise. We’ve offered to keep working and let Fair Work Australia, the independent umpire, decide.

“Troy Buswell has done everything he can to escalate this dispute to the point where we have no alternate but to strike to protect the jobs of workers," Mr Tracey said.

“Troy Buswell has done everything he can to create a dispute where there isn’t one. If Troy was concentrating on affairs of state, rather than his own affairs, this strike wouldn’t be happening.

"When we were in Fair Work Australia, the Government said they wouldn’t sign the agreement and refused to explain why. FWA Commissioner Cloghan was highly unimpressed by their behaviour and said the Government preferred to see this dispute governed by 'the law of the jungle' rather than through a calm arbitration process.

“The Barnett Government was happy to agree to this clause during negotiations with health workers but they refuse to apply the same job security to dock workers.

"Port workers are ready to sign the final deal - all conditions have been agreed to except the issue of security of employment in the case of privatisation.

"Here we are a week from Christmas and Mr Buswell is refusing to let these workers know that they will have a job to rely on - many of whom have served for decades at the port.

"Port workers have negotiated in good faith for months, delaying industrial action to allow Christmas presents to arrive. All we ask is that these workers can go home to their families this Christmas and say their jobs won't be lost under a privatised port.

“Troy Buswell is the only one who wants this strike, and the West Australian people should be asking him why."