Offshore Workers Industrial Action Democratic And Legal

MUA workers working for Total Marine voted for 24 hour industrial action

The Maritime Union has defended the rights of workers to take protected industrial action against claims by the Australian Mines and Metals Association that the 48 stoppage underway was irresponsible.

"The comments by AMMA  completely disregard the facts," said MUA National Secretary Paddy Crumlin.

"Industrial action is being taken in accordance with the rules of Fair Work Australia and only happens after a ballot. It is the workers in the companies AMMA represent who have democratically elected to take this action. Ideological attacks by AMMA really reflect their desperation to not debate the real issues at stake. 
"These workers are pursuing legitimate claims for parity with other workers in the oil and gas industry, and are doing so in accordance with Australian industrial law."

AMMA claimed the action had the potential "to threaten the livelihoods of thousands"

See Maritime union widens offshore action, The Australian (5/12/09)

Workers at Total Marine  commenced industrial action from midnight Thursday.

After a unanimous vote, 139 MUA members stopped work as part of the union bid for a 30 per cent payrise, and parity with riggers' allowances.

The action affected Woodside's Pluto project as well as projects in the Timor Sea and the Bass Strait.

Negotiations have bogged down after 12 months and the agreement has expired.

The industrial action came as  1,500 workers walked off the job at Woodside's Pluto project.

The workers voted last night to take industrial action over a dispute about accommodation.

CFMEU members are upset at a plan to make them give up their dongas at Gap Ridge Village and stay in different accommodation each working cycle.