Newcastle Wharfies Refuse to Unload New Crane in Fight for Job Security

Published: 30 Sep 2019

A 4-hour stop work meeting of wharfies from across the three Newcastle stevedoring companies has unanimously resolved to campaign to protect their jobs and right to work in the Port of Newcastle.

The mass meeting of Newcastle wharfies today resolved:

  • To fight against the Port of Newcastle plans to employ its own workforce which would effectively be a fourth stevedoring operator and undermine the work and available hours in the port for existing stevedoring companies and workers;
  • For all wharfies from all companies to refuse to unload the new crane which if used as proposed will destroy wharfies jobs;
  • To secure a union port compact for all port development including the K2 Crane and future container terminal construction and operation; and
  • The meeting also resolved to engage with other unions and the community to tackle the issues affecting workers in the Port of Newcastle and stood in solidarity with Port of Newcastle workers currently in bargaining.

Maritime Union of Australia Newcastle Branch Secretary Glen Williams said workers would now take their unified demands directly to the management of the Port of Newcastle.

“Wharfies from across the Port of Newcastle today stood shoulder to shoulder and unanimously outlined their demands to defend the job security of local workers,” Mr Williams said.

“This includes a decision to impose a ban on unloading the new crane until their concerns are addressed.

“We are seeking to meet with Port of Newcastle management urgently to outline these demands, along with a proposal for a compact between the port and union covering current and future development.”

MUA Assistant National Secretary Warren Smith said workers and the MUA will join with other unions to highlight the issues affecting workers at the privatised Port of Newcastle and fight for union jobs in a union town.

“Newcastle Wharfies have stood up collectively and made clear that they stand for jobs, not corporate greed and irrational job destroying competition,” Mr Smith said.

“Newcastle wharfies have resolved to stand in support of the Stockton beach community and have always been community minded. These attacks on wharfies jobs are attacks on the wider community which is negatively impacted economically by casualisation and job insecurity.”

Media comment: Glen Williams 0401 271 740
Further information: Tim Vollmer 0404 273 313


Authorised by P Crumlin, Maritime Union of Australia, Sydney