Time For AMMA Smokescreen To Be Blown Away

AMMA members are not bargaining in good faith and AMMA is encouraging its members to not bargain in good faith


Maritime Union of Australia, National Secretary, Paddy Crumlin said calls today by employer groups for the Federal Government to intervene in the dispute with Farstad where a smokescreen designed to distract attention from the fact employer's where not  bargaining in good faith.  

 “It is unfortunate employers don't want to debate the real issues in this dispute.   “Farstad seaman do a very difficult and dangerous job, often working at sea for many weeks of the year. They are simply arguing that this work be recognised with similar benefits to other workers.   “The Australian Mines and Metals Association (AMMA) and the ACCI are engaging in a mischievous and hypocritical political campaign against the Fair Work Act and designed to cover the fact their arguments failed before the independent umpire, Fair Work Australia.  

 The ACCI  are good corporate buddies and have been recruited to AMMA’s spurious campaign he said.   “When you put AMMA’s political games aside and look at the facts, it is a very different story that emerges.   “Maritime companies themselves recognise the enormous disparity in wages in the offshore construction sector.   “It was in fact employers who offered very large allowances to some sections of the offshore construction industry workforce to attract those workers to sign on to individual AWAs to avoid the requirements to bargain collectively.   “The MUA is bargaining in good faith in an effort to find a solution that would fix this wage disparity over time.  

This action has been taken 10 months after the expiry of the current enterprise agreement, with negotiations commenced nearly 12 months ago, and nearly 4 years after the last round of negotiations were concluded.   “This dispute affects a relatively small number of employees, who are left with no alternative but to exercise their industrial rights in what, in the broader scheme of things, is modest industrial action,” he said.   Mr Crumlin said the AMMA is behaving in a hypocritical way because it opposes collective bargaining and vehemently opposed compulsory arbitration. He said that now calling on the Rudd government to intervene on their behalf is the apex of hypocrisy.  

 They are pattern bargaining on behalf of employers, effectively vetoing any opportunity to reach agreement. If unions did it they would be calling for the death penalty for us   AMMA has never wanted collective agreements to apply in metaliferous mining, and the strategy its members are being encouraged to adopt in this dispute is part of that wider AMMA campaign against the Fair Work Act. They miss Workchoices the poor buggers.. Why wouldn’t they considering they monopolised Industrial relations.   “It is time the AMMA stopped using the maritime industry as political pawns in the pursuit of its’ ideological objectives, grow up, and start talking and not playing games.,” Mr Crumlin said.  

Media Contact: Paddy Crumlin: 0418 379 660 Anthony Reed 0402 399 572 Level 2, 365 - 375 Sussex Street, SYDNEY, NSW, Australia 2000 Telephone: (02) 9267 9134   Fax: (02) 9261 3481  E-Mail:  muano@mua.org.au