COVID 19 Interruptions to Industrial Work

Published: 29 Apr 2020

In the midst of this pandemic, employers have conveniently used COVID-19 as a mechanism to suspend and stall enterprise bargaining, not communicate with the Union or use COVID-19 as a measure to try and reduce terms and conditions or offer negative pay increases. Despite in some instances companies benefiting from the pandemic or not being impacted.
To that end the SA Branch continues to agitate for respective companies to come back to the bargaining table and continue negotiations.
We therefore have encouraged companies to utilise new video conferencing technology rather than be stuck in a COVID-19 vacuum. The MUA have become early adopters of new technology such as Zoom (Video Conferencing). We have used it with much success in some national meetings with over 100 members online.
While improvements can be made to Video conferencing it allows us to continue our business of representing members. We will continue to refine our usage and expertise in these areas and hopefully can move to a point of mass online meetings/webinars whether the pandemic continues or not.
It may well allow for greater participation given the nature of our industries shift work and seagoing swing patterns.
Rest assured that despite the COVID-19 Pandemic your union continues to campaign and agitate for members and are running a number of disputes either through Fair Work Commission (FWC) or South Australian Employment Tribunal (SAET). Currently we are bargaining with : Qube (3 ports in SA), Flinders Logistics, Sealink, Accolade II, Svitzer , CSL FOTB and soon to commence Flinders Logistics Port Pirie, ACFS Container Depot.
Click here for further reading –Economic impacts of Coronavirus’


Authorised by P Crumlin, Maritime Union of Australia, Sydney