Maritime Union of Australia members working on Svitzer Australia tugs are undertaking limited forms of legally protected industrial action in response to the company’s attempt to strip away workers’ rights and conditions.
Svitzer Australia is owned by highly-profitable multinational shipping conglomerate Maersk, the largest container ship and supply vessel operator in the world.
Despite being on a cusp of finalising a new workplace agreement earlier this year, Svitzer management decided to use the COVID crisis to introduce 30 new claims that would slash the rights, conditions, and job security of their Australian workforce.
Our members refuse to accept those unilateral attacks on their rights and conditions, which is why they are undertaking completely legal forms of industrial action in protest.
This action would be completely unnecessary if Svitzer withdrew their attempts to strip away workers’ rights and conditions and instead focused on reaching a sensible outcome.
We have provided extensive notice ahead of taking these actions, giving Svitzer management the opportunity to make appropriate scheduling changes to avoid any potential impact on customers.
At Port Botany, our action does not cover towage, only operations at the berth. As a result, there will be no impact on any vessels being brought in or out of the harbour.