THE formation of a “super union” from the merger of the Maritime Union with the CFMEU has “massive repercussions” for workplace relations on the wharfs Victorian Transport Association chief executive Peter Anderson says.
Mr Anderson was addressing the opening of the VTA Port Outlook 2018 session in Williamstown an event that coincided with a large union rally in Melbourne CBD in favour of better wages.
“On industrial relations, the formation of a super union from the merger between the CFMEU and the MUA has massive repercussions workplace relations on our wharfs,” the VTA CEO told the gathering.
“We saw that last Christmas when these groups crippled trade through VICT and Port of Melbourne by defying Supreme Court orders and running an illegal picket,” he said.
“That action set the trade union movement back 25 years and is a potential harbinger of worse to come if we don’t take steps to prevent victimising and discriminating against operators and those businesses in the supply chain they serve.”
Mr Anderson had words of praise for the Transport Workers Union, an entity generally considered to come from a different faction of the labour movement than its MUA/CFMEU brethren.
“We are fortunate in the transport industry to have an employee representative group that refrains from such militancy, which is a credit to the TWU,” he said.
Away from industrial relations, Mr Anderson spoke about how development of the Fishermans Bend Precinct could impact the Port of Melbourne.
“Planners want to run a bike path down Lorimer Street, which the VTA has fiercely objected to because it’s the only gazetted freight route for trucks servicing that side of the port,” Mr Anderson said. “It’s the last place on Earth you’d want to encourage more bicycle traffic.”
Mr Anderson said it was positive that the state government was investing in a port rail study and the Western Industrial Freight Terminal.