THE Maritime Union held a “solidarity souvlaki” with community members on Sunday to protest Qube’s “aggressive stance” during ongoing enterprise agreement negotiations currently underway.
The MUA called a four-day strike at Melbourne’s Webb Dock starting on Thursday 5 April, a move that stems from Qube’s application to terminate its present enterprise agreement with its workforce.
Negotiations between the Union and Qube have been ongoing for more than two years, with Qube saying it had offered pay rises of close to 10% over the coming four years.
MUA assistant national secretary Warren Smith said Qube was the first stevedore to adopt “aggressive, anti-worker tactics”.
“At the heart of this dispute is the right for workers to have a fair roster system,” he said.
“Qube workers in Melbourne are forced to work a very harsh roster that creates unsafe fatigue and deprives workers of time with their families.”
Mr Smith said Qube was “punishing” workers with the “unsafe” roster and the use of “extreme tactics” of terminating the agreement.
“Union members and community supporters are standing in solidarity with Qube workers today who claims are just and reasonable,” he said.
“All these workers are seeking is a safe workplace and to protect the rights of all Australian workers. If Qube are successful – workers will lose 25 years of agreed negotiated wages and conditions – stripped away by an unfair bargaining system where the rules are stacked against them.
“Qube can do this because our industrial relations system is broken for working people and is fundamentally unfair. The MUA members at Qube and community know what they want is reasonable and by working together they can win.”