MUA urges end to panic buying; commits to working with government and industry to ensure continuity of essential supplies

Published: 23 Mar 2020

Maritime Union of Australia West Coast Branch Secretary Christy Cain said maritime workers are committed to working with the West Australian Government, employers, and industry groups to ensure supply chains continue to operate smoothly throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.


MUA members are playing an essential role in continuing the supply of food, household goods, medical supplies, other essential items and general trade during this pandemic.


The union said a range of measures had already been put forward by the workforce, including additional cleaning and safety provisions, along with splitting work groups and staggering start times to allow freight movements to continue around the clock. The Western Australian public is being urged not to panic about supplies of essential goods.


“We want the people of Western Australia to be able to remain calm and avoid the recent panic buying in the knowledge that the supply chains responsible for delivering goods and supplies are continuing to operate efficiently,” Mr Cain said.


“Cooperation is key to responding to this pandemic, which is why wharfies, seafarers, port workers, and others in the supply chain remain committed to working with the WA Government and industry groups to ensure our sector continues to operate smoothly.


“Our members are prepared to change their work practices, with the splitting of work crews and staggering of shifts to reduce the risk of virus transmission and guarantee maritime freight can continue to get critical supplies to hospitals, supermarkets and other businesses in a timely manner.

“As an island nation which has more than 90 per cent of imports arrive by sea, seafarers, stevedores, and port workers understand that they are on the front line in our national fight against COVID-19.

“The union is continuing to have high level meetings with government and industry representatives as we evolve our response to ensure everything possible is done to guarantee supply chains to provide our communities needs during this health crisis.”


Media contact:  Christy Cain (MUA West Coast Branch Secretary/National President) 0407 850 084


Authorised by P Crumlin, Maritime Union of Australia, Sydney