Sydney Ferry claims pure fiction

Published: 22 May 2009

MUA working, not bullying, to keep Sydney Ferries in public hands

MUA working, not bullying, to keep Sydney Ferries in public hands

The MUA today dismissed stories claiming the union was bullying the Premier Nathan Rees to abandon plans to privatise Sydney Ferries.

"There is no question that the MUA has strongly advocated for the ferries to remain in public ownership - arguing that a sale would result in inevitable ticket price hikes and service and safety cut backs," said Sydney Branch Secretary Warren Smith. "But we have never resorted to any threats of sabotage in our campaign."

The facts are that the independent Walker Inquiry into the future of the Sydney Ferries made no specific recommendation that ferries should be privatized.

"There is a tender process and we are confident that we can demonstrate that Sydney Ferries, as a public enterprise, can deliver the best possible ferry service for the people of Sydney," said Mr Smith. "The MUA has shown itself to be flexible in conducting business with Government in voting up the new Enterprise Bargaining Agreement (EBA) which delivers major reform in line with the recommendations of the Walker Inquiry.

"We worked with management and other unions to really deliver for the publicly-owned Sydney Ferries and workers had to forgo a big pay rise to keep the ferries afloat", Mr Smith said.

Key to the new deal are crew-based rosters which create work teams so people pull together to make the job more efficient and safer. Another key recommendation of the Walker Inquiry included in the EBA is a single agreement covering all workers in all three maritime unions. Both reforms help save on operating costs and pave the way for more services and better services.

CONTACT: Warren Smith 04003 68945





Authorised by P Crumlin, Maritime Union of Australia, Sydney