Resolution: MUA National Council

Resolution that the Maritime Union of Australia will not countenance any form of intimidation by any member, Official or employee of the Union in any forum as part of the Unions Duty of Care as an employer

The Following resolution was passed by MUA National Council and subsequently endorsed at Monthly Meetings in the branches where they were held in December There will be a further update in January at the monthly meeting.

 

 

Resolution that the Maritime Union of Australia will not countenance any form of intimidation by any member, Official or employee of the Union in any forum as part of the Unions Duty of Care as an employer

 

The National Executive has met and discussed the continuing online abuse and denigration of the Union in general and MUA Officials in particular. The denigration and abuse has been on non-MUA Facebook pages and other social media, and by direct texting and phone calls. After discussing the matter, a National Council electronic conference was convened and the following resolution was passed unanimously.

Resolution: that the Maritime Union of Australia will not countenance in any form of intimidation by any member, official or employee of the union in any forum.

 

The MUA National Council notifies members that following two incidents in the MUA Sydney Branch on April 15 2016, the National Executive made a directive which was subsequently unanimously endorsed by National Council that the Branch, as part of the Unions Duty of Care as an employer were to seek whatever legal protection were available to ensure the safety of all employees, officers, and other visitors to the Sussex Street building. It is further noted that on advice and in the first instance the intent was to seek an AVO order as the required legal protection however at the time of pursuing this course of action the Union were advised that the Police cannot issue AVOs except in the case of domestic violence and it was the Police, not the MUA, that determined to proceed with charges as a consequence of the seriousness of the incidents.

 

The incident that occurred was a physical altercation in the Sydney Branch on April 15 2016, followed up by threatening behaviour later on the same day, all of which resulted in significant fear and a high level of alarm amongst the staff of the Sydney Branch, National Office, the Credit Union, and the ITF Office. This incident resulted in the closure of the MUA building in Sussex Street for the afternoon of Friday 15th April, all day Monday 18th April and resulted in a security lockdown of the building throughout the following week, during which time security guards were employed by the union, and other security measures put into place. The directive also followed a series of repeated threats and intimidating phone and text messages that were sent in the days following the incident.  These measures were implemented following a risk assessment which also resulted in additional structural security measures being installed throughout the building. The Union undertook these measures as an employing organisation with responsibilities under the WHS Duty of Care for the protection of the health and safety of all employees.

 

It is further noted that the Staff employees Union (United Services Union) contacted the National Office voicing their members concerns and requested to be updated regarding the measures to be undertaken to assure their members safety.

 

This incident and its aftermath has led to an ongoing review of the unions policies and rules on dealing with assaults, threats, intimidation, bullying and harassment in any form and also on dealing with vexatious content on social media, emails, texts or voice message. It needs to be clearly stated that the Maritime Union of Australia will not countenance in any form these intimidations by any member, official or employee of the union in any forum. 

 

In line with the leading role this union has historically taken in opposing all forms of abuse, bullying and harassment in the workplace and with our continued determination to remove these types of behaviour and to protect any and all workers subject to them whether in our union, the maritime workplaces or in the community it is resolved that we take whatever actions are available to the union under our rules and under the law to protect any member, official, or employee from these attacks regardless of whether these are in person, on social media or via text or voice message, email, or phone.