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AREEA applies to Fair Work Commission to stop MUA offshore strike

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AUSTRALIA’S resource industry employer group AREEA has lodged an application with the Fair Work Commission to put a stop to the Maritime Union of Australia’s (MUA) 48-hour strike against an offshore vessel employer planned for next Tuesday.

The planned strike would be the first instance of industrial action during 16-month long negotiations between 21 vessel operator employers and the MUA.

“AREEA is calling on the Fair Work Commission to stop the MUA’s planned strike, given the range of evidence showing the MUA is not genuinely trying to reach an agreement with these employers,” says AREEA executive director Scott Barklamb.

“Between the offshore negotiations managed by AREEA and the separate issue at Port Hedland, the MUA appears to be waging some sort of misguided industrial war against the resource industry.

“This is incredible given the offshore maritime industry alone employs about 2,500 of their members on wages averaging $170-240k, for less than six months time spent at sea.

“But the MUA’s irresponsible actions aren’t just impacting their own members, it threatens Australia’s offshore energy sector which is worth $170 billion and 70,000 jobs to our country.

“The industry remains committed to negotiating an agreement that will secure long-term, sustainable employment opportunities for Australian seafarers, but it has become increasingly difficult to deal with this rogue union over the past 16 months.

“The MUA has changed its position on key matters, it has reneged on claims agreed months earlier and it has misrepresented to employees and the public what is really going on these negotiations.

“Last year the union rejected a responsible and fair offer and its officials are now deceiving their members by saying the industry withdrew it.

“The ongoing delay in giving Australian seafarers a pay rise simply comes down to the MUA officials’ irresponsible conduct and militant approach.

“To ensure job security and a fair and responsible pay rise, the MUA’s members need their union to bring their claims down from the clouds and engage in a genuine negotiation process towards a realistic outcome.”

Note: AREEA’s application to stop the planned MUA strike was lodged under s418 of the Fair Work Act 2009.

MEDIA: Click here for a PDF of this media release and relevant media contact.

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