THE MARITIME Union of Australia has called on National Cabinet, which is meeting today (13 January) to intervene and halt Patrick seeking to terminate its enterprise agreement at the Fair Work Commission.
A hearing on the application is scheduled to be held on Monday.
The union claims the termination of the enterprise agreement would have a “catastrophic” impact on shifts and productivity, and would end Patrick’s ability to operate 24 hours a day.
Earlier this week, Patrick said this claim was “nonsense” and that any changes to pay and rosters wouldn’t come into effect until six months after the agreement is terminated.
MUA national secretary Paddy Crumlin said Patrick would “throw a spanner in the works of Australian port operations” if they terminated the enterprise agreement, which would be replaced by the basic award.
“We are calling on Scott Morrison and the National Cabinet to ensure that the company does not move ahead with this court action and for Patrick Terminals to return to the negotiating table to bargain in good faith,” Mr Crumlin said.
“In pursuit of their own self-interest, Patrick Terminals’ management seem willing to put Australia’s domestic supply chains under massive, cumulative pressure at the worst possible time.”
MUA assistant secretary Jamie Newlyn said the union had concluded enterprise agreements with the “entire stevedoring industry” apart from Patrick Terminals.
“The union is not seeking anything more from Patricks than has already been agreed to by other stevedoring companies,” he said.
The current enterprise agreement that covers Patrick employees expired on 30 June 2020.
Negotiations on a new enterprise agreement have been ongoing since February 2020.
The union carried out a campaign of industrial action from 4 September 2020 through early November, when it withdrew all pending notices of industrial action after Patrick filed an application with the FWC to force the union to terminate the actions.