MARITIME Union of Australia west coast branch secretary Christy Cain says maritime workers are committed to working with the West Australian government, employers, and industry groups to ensure supply chains operate smoothly during the coronavirus pandemic.

Mr Cain said MUA members were playing an essential role supplying food, household goods, medical supplies and other essential items.

“We want the people of Western Australia to be able to remain calm and avoid the recent panic buying in the knowledge that the supply chains responsible for delivering goods and supplies are continuing to operate efficiently,” Mr Cain said.

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“Cooperation is key to responding to this pandemic, which is why wharfies, seafarers, port workers, and others in the supply chain remain committed to working with the WA government and industry groups to ensure our sector continues to operate smoothly.”

Mr Cain said members were prepared to change their work practices, with the splitting of work crews and staggering of shifts to reduce the risk of virus transmission and guarantee maritime freight can continue to get critical supplies to hospitals, supermarkets and other businesses in a timely manner.

“As an island nation which has more than 90% of imports arrive by sea, seafarers, stevedores, and port workers understand that they are on the front line in our national fight against COVID-19,” he said.

“The union is continuing to have high level meetings with government and industry representatives as we evolve our response to ensure everything possible is done to guarantee supply chains to provide our communities needs during this health crisis.”

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