Federal Court injunction sought to block automation of terminal

News

Federal Court injunction sought to block automation of terminal

The MUA will this week seek an injunction in the Federal Court over the failure of Patrick Stevedores to consult with the union and their employees regarding the proposed automation of the Port Botany cargo terminal.

WantToReadMore

Get unlimited access to all of our content.

The Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) will this week seek an injunction in the Federal Court over the failure of Patrick Stevedores to consult with the union and their employees regarding the proposed automation of the Port Botany cargo terminal.

The union is seeking an injunction preventing Patrick from taking any further steps to implement the proposed automation prior to consulting with the union in accordance with the enterprise bargaining agreement (EBA) struck in April.

Background
 
The MUA believes Patrick’s management acted in breach of the consultation clause of the EBA struck in April, when it announced on 3 September the signing of a contract with Cargotec Corporation in Finland to deliver 44 Autostrads by the end of 2013.

The MUA has consistently criticised Asciano’s announcement in mid-July that its subsidiary Patrick Stevedores would sack more than a half of its Port Botany workforce and replace them with automated technology.

The union said it was extremely disappointed that Patrick’s failed to declare its plans for automation during 20 tough months of negotiations for a new EBA.

Subsequently, on 3 September, Patrick’s revealed that it had signed a contract with Cargotec for the purchase of 44 Autostrads.

‘No consultation’
 
‘The company says it will consult then does the opposite and we’re going to pull them up on this,’ MUA national secretary Paddy Crumlin said.

‘We’re looking for a measure of respect, decency and maturity from Patrick’s management to engage in a dialogue with its workforce, rather than this single-mindedness which borders on arrogance.’

MUA deputy national secretary Mick Doleman said the decision by Patrick’s management to push ahead with the purchase of equipment without consultation was another kick in the guts to the Patrick’s workforce.

‘Patrick Stevedores’ decision demonstrates its poor judgement, lack of good faith and lack of commitment to any reasonable consultation with their workforce,’ Mr Doleman said.

Crumlin, who is also president of the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF), will hold a high-level meeting on 12 September, in Washington, with prominent union leaders on the topic of automation.

Crumlin will meet with International Longshoremen's Association (ILA) president Harold Daggett, International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) president Bob McEllrath, and ITF maritime coordinator Steve Cotton in Washington.

American-headquartered companies manage 46 per cent of Asciano shares.
 
Post details