Teekay deal endorsed by Port Hedland deckhands and masters

Tugboat deckhands in Port Hedland have voted to accept an offer for a new Enterprise Bargaining Agreement (EBA) from tug operator Teekay, bringing to an end almost 15-months of negotiations.

The deal will see the deckhands win four weeks of paid leave each year, which was a core demand of the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA). The deal received unanimous support. It is understood tugboat masters, who are represented by the Australian Maritime Officers’ Union, overwhelmingly endorsed a similar deal.

MUA WA Branch Assistant Secretary Will Tracey said the deal was a huge win for workers.

“Tugboat deckhands in Port Hedland currently work the equivalent of 54 weeks of a standard 38.5 hour working week, and they deserve to receive paid annual leave,” Mr Tracey said.

“Throughout WA, we are witnessing the mental health and social impacts of rosters in the resources industry, and the MUA is making it a priority in our negotiations with employers to ensure our members have adequate down-time to see their families and get involved with community activities.”

MUA WA Branch Secretary Christy Cain said the Teekay deal again demonstrated the ability of the MUA to reach a negotiated outcome.

“Strike action is always a last resort for the MUA, and we are pleased to have won a great outcome for our members without having to take one day’s industrial action” he said.

“Despite the political interference from both the Barnett and Abbott Governments, the MUA has been able to sit down with Teekay and reach an agreement that is in both the national interest and the interest of workers.

“Employers across the industry should ignore what Liberal Party-aligned representative groups like AMMA say about the MUA. If an employer can demonstrate a commitment to local jobs, fair wages and family friendly rosters, then we are likely to have very little to argue about.”