Friday 16th Nov, 2018

Tanner called on to help end VICT row, as unions rally

MUA deputy national secretary, Will Tracey. Photo: David Sexton
MUA deputy national secretary, Will Tracey. Photo: David Sexton

MARITIME Union deputy national secretary, Will Tracey, has called on former federal finance minister Lindsay Tanner to intervene and resolve a dispute with Victoria International Container Terminal.

Unions held a large rally at Webb Dock today, upset at the treatment of a casual worker who has been denied shifts at VICT, albeit after he failed to receive a Maritime Security Identification Card.

Mr Tanner, a Labor stalwart, is on the board of VICT and Mr Tracey told reporters it was time he used his influence.

“We’ve got someone like Lindsay Tanner on the board. Lindsay Tanner is a sensible person,” Mr Tracey said.

“They should come to their senses and get the company to fix this dispute.”

Mr Tracey reiterated what they saw as unfair treatment of the worker at the centre of the dispute, saying other workers without MSICs received work in other areas.

The rally today had flow-on effects, including at the automotive terminal next door and at Swanson Dock container terminal.

A note to customers from DPWA said the MUA had pressured employees of all stevedores to attend the VICT rally resulting in delays to vessels.

“DP World Australia did all it could to attempt to avert this action occurring with calls late into the night with senior MUA leaders,” DPWA said.

Earlier, MIRRAT management opted to suspend break bulk cargo collection and close the receivals and delivery office in anticipation of disruption at Webb Dock.

State Opposition industrial relations spokesman, Robert Clark, used the rally today to criticise the government of Premier Daniel Andrews.

“This picket is hurting farmers and businesses across Victoria and is doing huge damage to Victoria’s international reputation, and to confidence, investment and jobs,” Mr Clark said.

“Daniel Andrews needs to get on the phone to his union mates in the MUA and CFMEU and tell them to call off this blockade and let these goods get moving again.”

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