Campaign Update: Union victory in Svitzer dispute

Published: 17 Apr 2023


17 April 2023

Svitzer has finally agreed to abandon its reckless and implausible legal action to cancel the EBA of almost 600 tugboat workers around Australia.


This action would have led to pay cuts of 47%, the loss of crucial safety and fatigue management measures, and destroyed job security for the hard-working, skilled crews upon whom our national supply chains depend.


This will allow the two parties to engage in good faith bargaining before the Fair Work Commission to finalise a new employment agreement to replace the one which expired in 2019.


“The Svitzer EBA termination action is dead,” said Sydney Branch Deputy Secretary, Paul Garrett. “This is a significant moment, as Svitzer have agreed to discontinue their EBA termination case, in full.”


“Tugboat workers have been denied a pay rise for over four years as this process has been deliberately strung out by Svitzer’s managers and lawyers, with the added threat of complete termination hanging over their heads,” said the MUA’s Assistant National Secretary, Jamie Newlyn.


“Removing this threat will allow us to move forward constructively, and the three maritime unions will now work towards finalising a new agreement with Svitzer that delivers a fair pay rise along with the safety and job security measures our members depend on,” Newlyn said.


“Sadly, a considerable amount of time, energy and resources have been expended on this process, and these resources could have long ago been better put by Svitzer towards rewarding the hard work and loyalty of their employees with a fair pay rise,” Garrett said.





Authorised by P Crumlin, Maritime Union of Australia, Sydney