Media Release: Fremantle Port Authority Reveals Truth About Government's Privatisation Plans

The Fremantle Port Authority today told Fair Work Australia that it needs the flexibility to be able to sack dock workers within three months of a full or partial privatisation of the port, confirming deep concerns the MUA has had for the employment security of the workers.

17 December 2012

MEDIA RELEASE

Fremantle Port Authority reveals truth about Government’s privatisation plans

The Fremantle Port Authority today told Fair Work Australia that it needs the flexibility to be able to sack dock workers within three months of a full or partial privatisation of the port, confirming deep concerns the MUA has had for the employment security of the workers.

Assistant Secretary of the WA Branch of the Maritime Union of Australia, Will Tracey, said Fremantle Port’s continued unwillingness to have the independent umpire arbitrate on the issue of privatisation illustrated that the lack of good will on the part of the Government to protect the job security of these workers.

 Image - Fremantle strike arm in arm.jpg

 “Every day we learn more details about Troy Buswell’s privatisation plan and the port workers are getting increasingly anxious about their future,” Mr Tracey said.

“The truth is finally out – it has taken a week for the Fremantle Port Authority to admit that privatisation is on the cards and they are intent on allowing mass sackings.

“During the hearings today, the Fremantle Port Authority continued to resist pressure to allow Fair Work Australia to arbitrate on the issue of privatisation, despite the fact that going to arbitration would immediately end the strike.

“The MUA has consistently said that arbitration is preferred to industrial action, but Troy Buswell is not interested in fixing this issue in a fair way – he’d prefer to pick a fight with working Australians right before Christmas than to let down a business mate.

“Commissioner Cloghan has been working hard to resolve this dispute but the Port Authority and the Barnett Government only want to avoid arbitration by the independent umpire.

“What does Mr Buswell have to hide on the issue of privatisation? Why won’t he allow the independent umpire to help resolve this dispute and bring an end to the strike?”

The Fair Work hearings will continue from 8pm tonight until late and it is intended that the strike will continue tomorrow.