CREWS of the Manly Fast ferry went on strike between 5pm and 11pm last Friday.

According to the Maritime Union (part of the CFMMEU) Sydney branch assistant secretary Paul Garrett, this was part of a campaign against “systematic wage theft” by NRMA (the ferry operator).

“Despite more than 120 hours of negotiations, NRMA are still pressing for workers to be paid below the Award and not in line with industry rates of pay,” Mr Garrett said.

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“NRMA have also advised that they are prepared to look at half of the workforce being made permanent, but will need to phase that in over a two-year period. That means that workers are unlikely to be made permanent until six and a half years into the seven year contract.”

Manly Fast Ferry chief executive Richard Ford was quoted in the Sydney media as saying that the industrial action was at the expense of finding “a meaningful agreement”.

“We want to apologise to our customers — for the union to target our customers trying to get home after a busy week does nothing to end this industrial dispute and everything to negatively impact on people who are just trying to get home or enjoy Vivid,” Mr Ford told The Daily Telegraph.

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