Hundreds send e-mails backing Aussie oil-rig workers wanting iconic Danish multinational to recognise union
For almost two years the MUA-AWU Offshore Alliance members on the drill rig Nan Hai 6 have been trying to seal a deal with an iconic Danish shipping giant Maersk.
The big energy company Woodside thanked our members on the Nan Hai 6, for their excellent performance. In an email, circulated just a few weeks back, the company said they saved more than ten million dollars thanks to our members hard labour.
But Maersk thanked these same workers by doing a u-turn on a promise to an agreed pay increase to union members - backdated to July 1 2009.
Union members are angry that Maersk - who often enjoy the patronage of the boat-loving Danish Crown-Prince Frederik and his Australian-born wife Crown-Princess Mary - have shown they are not prepared to negotiate in good faith.
The company has been a keen user of the Howard-era WorkChoice laws to undermine workers' rights to a union voice, and to push workers onto the anti-union individual contracts.
For four years they've operated in Australia very successfully - both on the North-West offshore oil gas fields of Western Australia, as well as the Bass Strait oil and gas fields near Tasmania.
Despite the end of the WorkChoice laws Maersk continues to discriminate against workers who exercise their right to join a union and bargain collectively.
Maersk continues to show favourtism to workers on the Howard-era individual employee contracts who get longer annual leave and higher pay.