Wharfies at Qube Ports Newcastle will walk off the job for 48 hours from 8am today after the company continued to push for a massive wage cut for its workforce.
The Maritime Union of Australia said workers have had enough, after Qube management refused to give in on the wage reductions during negotiations this week.
MUA Newcastle Branch Secretary Glen Williams said the savage pay cuts were a slap in the face to workers, who had received no pay rise in 2 years despite big productivity increases.
“There is no greater flexible work force in Australia than our stevedores, and Qube has been able to reap mega profits off their highly efficient work practices,” Mr Williams said.
“The productivity and flexibility delivered by our members on this wharf, some for more than 20 years, has allowed this company to be agile in meeting its customer needs and the requirements of a safe working port.
“Our members have no choice but to down tools over this attack on their jobs and standards of living, which we know ultimately is an attempt to scrap their workplace agreement.”
MEDIA ALERT: Midday, Thursday 17 August, 2017
What: Wharfies Rally during 48 Hour Stop Work at Qube Ports Newcastle
Where: Heron Road, Kooragang.
Event Contact: Glen Williams, MUA Newcastle Branch Secretary 0401 271 740
Comment Contact: Warren Smith, MUA Assistant National Secretary 0400 368 945
Media Contact: Ali Donaldson, Mountain Media, 0411 202 005
The MUA says members will also impose work bans for the next two weeks where workers will place bans on –
Work only 7 hour shifts
No extensions, No overtime
MUA Assistant National Secretary Warren Smith said the giant logistics company was hell bent on trashing 25 years of bargaining history and outcomes.
“Newcastle wharfies have been singled out by Qube to cop this absurd pay cut, while the company’s 15 other sites across Australia remain unchanged,” Mr Smith said.
If the company terminates their existing agreement, which the company has threatened, the Qube workforce has decided unanimously not to return to work until a new deal is struck.