Workers Not to Blame for Hutchison Problems

The position of third stevedoring operator Hutchison has nothing to do with its enterprise agreement, despite what has been claimed in the media by commentators and unnamed sources.

Yesterday it was reported that Hutchison had been “indulgent” in an opinion column in the Australian Financial Review and today it was reported that the company had been “overly generous” in the Lloyd’s List Daily Commercial News.

But the MUA disputes the allegations in saying the Hutchison agreement was the most flexible out of the waterfront contracts.

Sydney Branch Deputy Secretary Paul Keating said the 30-hour week did not mean workers were being paid for a 35-hour week and the hourly rate was in line with the industry standard.

“When Hutchison was the successful tenderer for the Port Botany spot, we approached the company in a consultative and collaborative manner,” Keating said.

“We had a genuine approach to negotiations to ensure the venture was able to get up off the ground - after all it was an opportunity for employment for our members.

“As a result we formed an agreement that offered more flexibility.

“Interestingly, Hutchison has never cried foul on the agreement or on wages, it is only ill-informed and unnamed sources, who I can only assume have an ulterior motive, or would happily put their names to their claims.

“The MUA will be working closely with the company into the future.”