Qube EBA Update

The MUA’s EBA campaign for job security and improved wages and conditions at Qube continues. The campaign has been a success so far and our continued “chuck it in the bin” campaign has been an example of the unity of Qube workers who continue to tell this giant corporation that they want their fair share. The company didn’t want a Part A National process they wanted individual ports alone and out in the cold, open to Qube’s voracious appetite for profit, usually at our expense. 

The EBA negotiations have travelled the country. Every port has said they agreed that a Part A process was essential and it turns out that in the end, with every port wanting the same things, a national negotiation process was agreed to.

Prior to the national meetings Round 3 of bargaining was finalised and was witness to a massive attack on your wages and conditions.

Here’s your wage justice at Qube: 


Minus 10.5%

All other years CPI

Port Kembla

Minus 4.7%

All other years CPI

Adelaide, SA Port (Port Lincoln)

Minus 4.66%

All other years CPI


Minus 6%

All other years CPI



All other years CPI


0% (65k reduction in NW Allowance)

All other years CPI


Minus 12.3%

All other years CPI

Tasmania Qube #1

Minus 4.5%

All other years CPI

TT Line

Minus 2.5% FSE

Minus 3.5% VSE/GWE

Minus 12% Supp

All other years CPI


Minus 4.5%

All other years CPI


Minus 5.91%

All other years CPI


Minus 8.77%

All other years CPI


Minus 3%

All other years CPI

Port Hedland

0% (65k reduction in NW Allowance)

All other years CPI


Minus 12.9%

All other years CPI

Travelling the breadth of the country, attending every EBA meeting and delivering the axe blows to your family’s standard of living was the company’s David Reid. For his efforts in waging the company’s war on workers all he got was the arse. And it was not for going too hard on workers; but that he hadn’t wedged, divided and conquered MUA members who recognised that all we have is each other and our strength in numbers.

So how much does that take off your pay packet!

One of the ports that has been the most difficult is Darwin. The company has flagged redundancies but we are working through the issues with the company and will be back up there 21-23 March. There is considerable conjecture over the hours available to be worked. We believe the hours are very close and there is not a need for any redundancy if we applied the principles of our claim to deal with downturn. If we land it, our members jobs are retained, their skills and experience are kept in the business and Qube will save over $1 million in redundancies, recruitment and training.

Successful defence of orders

The MUA was able to successfully defend against Qube’s attempts to gain orders against 8 members and the MUA for having sickies and another group about not doing an extension (they did the extension). The hearing went long into the night but exposed the extreme nature of what we are dealing with.

Be careful – the company are actively provoking members in a number of ports. They want a reaction to cause us grief. Tread with caution and always collectively and we will prevail. We don’t want any sort of issues with potential legal industrial action that we may be able to take to fend off these attacks from Qube.

Scaring you is part of their bargaining strategy! Fighting back is part of ours!

National Meetings

National meetings resulted in some progress in terms of discussions on how to deal with the chronic problem of industry booms and busts. Some new ground was explored but getting back into the Darwin question exposed the differences.

Fair Work Commission (FWC)

The second national bargaining day saw a FWC follow-up meeting over the company’s intention to sack members in Darwin. After discussions before Deputy President Booth the company put an offer to the union that would eliminate the need for redundancies and lock away Part A by the end of the month but would still have a significant impact on the Darwin members.

7 1⁄2 days of Part A and Darwin specific meetings have been locked away for this month. We are prepared to put every effort into landing Part A and resolving Darwin in that timeframe. We have put up a modest 3% per year pay rise. This will satisfy all our cost claims and then we are seeking to resolve the question of downturn and upturn in the industry and how that reality can be best accommodated. There is room to move and if things are escalated it will be Qube spoiling for a fight instead of creating a fairness and a functionality to Bulk and General stevedoring that we all need.

In solidarity,

MUA National Bargaining Team
Warren Smith | Bob Carnegie | Adrian Evans | Garry Keane |