Australian Prime Minister warns maritime union to “take action” in ongoing industrial action as needed


Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has warned the Australian Maritime Union (MUA) that the government will intervene in port strikes at Patrick Terminal as needed.

“Our government is also closely watching the potential for industrial activity that disrupts economic activity. Please note that industrial activity at Patrick Terminal is pending until at least December 10th,” Morrison said. Said. speech To the Australian Industrial Group.

MUA has attempted to enter into a contract with Patrick that up to 70% of new employees will come from existing employees’ families and friends, or people selected by the union, as well as agreements with other ports. rice field.

Since negotiations began in February 2020, the union has launched more than 220 industrial activities at four Patrick ports in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Fremantle. These ports handle about 40% of Australia’s shipping container volume.

On November 8, Patrick submitted an application to the Fair Labor Relations Commission to thwart the “merciless barrage” of industrial action by the MUA. It was later withdrawn after the MUA agreed to suspend all organized strikes until December 10.

“We encourage the parties to this dispute to negotiate in good faith and resolve their problems in order to sort this out,” Morrison said. “But at the same time, we want to ensure that our government takes action as needed to protect the Australian economy from serious harm.”

Epoch Times Photo
Workers will load containers on a Port Botany cargo ship in Sydney, Australia on December 2, 2020. (Saed Khan / AFP via Getty Images)

This was after the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) published a report revealing long-standing inefficiencies in Australian ports exacerbated by the onset of COVID-19.

“Industrial behavior in addition to existing congestion unfortunately puts a heavy burden on international container ports during the most difficult times to deal with it,” said ACCC Chair Rod Sims. “In the case of Port Botany (Sydney), some shipping companies have determined that delays make port use commercially infeasible.”

In light of the ACCC’s report, Morrison said the government is conducting its own review investigating a wider range of issues related to Australian port productivity.

“The port is the gateway to our economy. An inefficient port is a tax for all of us,” Morrison said. “But it’s clear that Australia’s maritime logistics systems still have productivity challenges, which are related to competition, labor relations, infrastructure constraints, and technology uptake.”

Michaelia Cash, Minister of Labor and Management, said the government would “notify MUA” and take steps to protect the Australian economy as necessary.

“Now, twice, I have advised the Government of Western Australia to assist if they intervene or to intervene as a federal government.” Cash Said 2GB radio. “In both cases, MUA has retreated.”

“So I’m ready to do what I can.”

Rebecca Chu


Rebecca Zhu is an Australian reporter based in Sydney. She focuses on Australia’s economy, property and education. Contact her at [email protected].