- Our Union
- Our Industries
Published: 29 Apr 2020
Since the COVID 19 pandemic the MUA National Executive, which includes Branch Secretary Jamie Newlyn, has been meeting weekly to keep a watching brief, ready for an agile and adaptive response where required.
The MUA has been assisting members amid the Covid-19 pandemic locally, nationally and internationally. In Port Kembla, the MUA assisted workers on the Ruby Princess and helped with ensuring all crew were tested for Covid-19, the sick were removed from the ship and the ship left with no sick crew on board. At a local level the MUA has assisted various sites in implementing measures to help prevent the spread of Covid-19 and keep members safe while at work.
The MUA assisted with an intervention with Adelaide Brighton Cement over a COVID scare supporting the members and concerns of crew on the Accolade II. The MUA has been in contact with ABF, AMSA , Flinders Ports & DPTI which also included Adelaide Brighton trying to prevent shore leave for crew & arrangements for interstate crew joining vessel and quarantine exemptions.
Fortunately, most members are still working as the Maritime Industry is considered an essential service, particularly in the supply chain. This of course has not meant maritime workers have been immune to the COVID-19 pandemic and some members have been impacted.
The Union has spent a vast majority of its time dealing with all aspects of COVID-19 from the health, safety and welfare of members (& foreign seafarers), to negotiating temporary changes to facilitate quarantine measures and roster/swing periods to support ongoing viability of different industries.
COVID-19 has certainly had a negative impact in some quarters of the maritime industry and this has led to some companies utilising the Federal Government’s Job Keeper program. Once again the full extent of this roll-out in certain sections of the industry will require union intervention to ensure the best outcome for members.
It is a fluid and fast changing pandemic and our unions adaptability is witnessed by the union’s national executive meeting weekly to ascertain and deal with employer or government (state and federal) changes as they happen.