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MARITIME UNION OF AUSTRALIA - WA BRANCH

RANK&FILE VOICE
TOUCH ONE TOUCH ALL - OFFICIAL MUA WA BRANCH MEMBERS MAGAZINE NUMBER 43 FEB 2019

BHP
• WRECKED BRAZIL’S ENVIRONMENT
• RIPPED OFF $530M IN TAX
• REFUSES TO PAY $300M OF WA ROYALTIES
• SACKED 80 AUSSIE SEAFARERS

the
• PLANS TO EMPLOY FOREIGN SEAFARERS
ON OUR COAST ON $4 PER HOUR

Big
UN-Australian
PAGES 22-25

BILL SHORTEN HAS BACKED IN AUSSIE SEAFARERS IN THE MUA’S CAMPAIGN AGAINST
BHP WHILE MARK MCGOWAN & SCOTT MORRISON HIDE UNDER A ROCK
MUA WA BRANCH

IN THIS ISSUE 16
SPECIAL REPORT - GEORGE GAKIS
Mid-West membership update 35 ETU & RBTU REPORTS
We’re here demanding fairness

3 CHRIS CAIN
West Coast Conference paves way forward
17
SPECIAL REPORT - DANNY CAIN
Saving your wages 36 ITF - KEITH McCORRISTON
Solidarity shown by ITF & MUA members

4 ADRIAN EVANS
MUA fighting to win
18
DOUG HEATH
Offshore Alliance relaunches 37SPECIAL REPORT - ADRIAN EVANS
Workers Compensation

6 DANNY CAIN
Best practise for all vessels
20
PAUL BRETT
2019: Year of the pig 38 SLATER & GORDON
Making a Sea Care claim

7 POLITICAL CAMPAIGNING
On the buses
21
SPECIAL REPORT
Life before profit$ 39 SPECIAL REPORT
Mental health @ sea

8 JEFF CASSAR
Young workers congress on the agenda
22
SPECIAL REPORT - DOUG HEATH
BHP Bastards 41VETERAN’S REPORT
190 vets danced away 2018

9 CHANGE THE RULES


Australia needs a pay rise 26
SAVE THE DATE
WA State Conference 42WOMEN’S REPORT
MUA veteran’s - get involved

10 GEORGE GAKIS
Onwards, upwards and forwards we go 28
SPECIAL REPORT
Lock the gate: WA State Fracking 43FROM THE MEMBERS

11 GEORGE GAKIS
WA ferry workers join the cause 29
SPECIAL REPORT - DOUG HEATH
NOPSEMA falls asleep at the wheel 46KYLE MCGINN
MUA in parliament

12 JACK MCCABE
Keeping diving from stepping back in time 33 TWU REPORT
Bus drivers fight for secure employment 49POLITICAL REPORT - BEN LAWVER
Alcoa walk out

14 DAL FALCONE
Anything is possible with vision 34 CFMEU REPORT
Salini’s contract on lives of West Aussies 52BACK PAGE
Keep Fremantle a working port

VALE: FRANCIS KALLENBERG


With great sorrow the MUA WA
Branch would like to acknowledge
the passing of a respected WA Life
Member – Francis Kallenberg.
We send sincere condolences to the
Kallenberg family and friends.
Our thoughts are with you during
this sad time.

1 AVAILABLE MUA WA BRANCH MERCHANDISE


1. MUA CFMEU HATS - $20
GREY AND BLUE AVAILABLE

2
2. MUA CFMEU BEANIE - $15

3. MUA CFMEU T-
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Available from the 3


MUA WA Branch, Fremantle

2 RANK&FILE VOICE FEBRUARY 2019


WEST COAST CONFERENCE
PAVES THE WAY FORWARD
embers, our West Coast Conference is coming up soon (Tuesday, 26 February to Friday, 1 March 2019). This is going to be

M a cracking event. Leaders from around the world will converge in Fremantle to debate possible ways forward for workers to
fight. We need you all to attend. We need you all to be part of the debate. It is a conference that should not be missed.
We ask you all to come along and support your union.

Report by
CHRISTY CAIN
BRANCH SECRETARY
NATIONAL PRESIDENT
0407 850 084
chris.cain@mua.org.au

VOTE ALP IN THIS COMING


ELECTION
Members, we all continue our fight
to have decent wages and condi-
tions of employment. it needs to lay off 48 permanent breath waiting. campaigns to protect and fight for
Australians have a right to work in employees.
Congratulations guys on a job well YOUR work.
their own country, in secure perma- They have just one vessel on the done! Stay safe and I, along with your
nent jobs; jobs in our waters, jobs coast and the future doesn’t look Union, am looking forward to the
on our wharfs, jobs in our port
A FIGHTING NEW YEAR
too bright.
authorities. Members, as we start this new year, challenges ahead.
Your Union is in meetings with we need to all work together.
It’s a no brainer. Atlas and will keep members They don’t like us
informed on the outcomes of these I ask you all to get behind our and we don’t care
It’s either Labor or Liberal that
will run this country this year. discussions. Christy Cain addressing the
Let’s make sure we not only win FREMANTLE PORT WORKERS DEAL DP World crew
the election, but let’s smash the in Melbourne
WITH OIL SPILL
bastards.
On January 12 there was a major
oil spill in Fremantle Harbour.
VOTE A SHORTEN Congratulations to the Port Au-
LABOR thority membership who worked
GOVERNMENT IN around the clock and did an excel-
lent job in getting the spill under
control.
OFFSHORE LAY OFF WORKERS Maybe the Port Authority board
Members, Atlas Marine has con- should give all of them a bonus,
tacted the union and stated that however, I wouldn’t hold your

RANK&FILE VOICE FEBRUARY 2019 3


With a new fight emerging almost every day, we often
don’t have time to take stock of our victories as a union.
In this edition, I have chosen LINX (formerly Patrick
Report by Bulk and General) Fremantle, to review the
ADRIAN EVANS
BRANCH DEPUTY SECRETARY 2008 EA compared to what members now
0401 692 528
adrian.evans@mua.org.au
enjoy just 10 years later.

N
one of these achievements were handed out
by the boss; we had to fight for each and
every one of them.
On the wages front, we have achieved
hourly rate increases of 48.9% for
permanent and PGE members over the past 10 years and
our fight to put a price on casualisation has resulted in our
casual members getting a larger increase of 62.1% over that
10-year period. Both are incredible outcomes when you
consider CPI over the same 10-year period compounded to
just 22.4%.
As our members know, it’s not just about money. We want
to go home safely and enjoy good conditions of
employment. Here are some of the notable outcomes over
the past 10 years.
• In 2008 (and over many years), we were fighting for
the National Stevedoring Code of Practice. In 2019, the
NSCOP is now a reality.
• In 2008, superannuation was paid at 9% of earnings. In
2019, super is paid at 10.5% of all earnings.
• In 2008, members had to pay for their own income

4 RANK&FILE VOICE FEBRUARY 2019


protection insurance to cover illness or injury outside of regardless of their category of reversion to pre-existing arrangements
work. In 2019, members are automatically covered through employment. when the work returns. This means
the EA with Protect, which pays up to $1800 per week redundancies only occur as a last resort
• In 2008, interport transfers received just
for up to 2 years, plus many other benefits that the policy and AFTER all other options have been
$150 for accommodation AND meals and
brings. And premiums are paid for by the company. exhausted.
were not paid for days not worked while
• In 2008, minimum shift allocation was 7 hours. It is now they were away. In 2019, the company In 2008, the graduated retirement scheme
8-hour minimum shifts. must pay for a minimum 3.5 star had a 3-year maximum. In 2019, there is
accommodation plus the ATO updated no longer a time limit for GR, giving mem-
• In 2008, sick leave was 7 hours and was paid out at award
allowances - currently $131.05 and for bers flexibility if circumstances change.
rate. In 2019, sick leave is 8 hours and now paid at the
Fremantle members an extra $20.65 per
composite rate. In 2008, labour hire/contractors were paid
day in Part B. There is also a shared
whatever the company offered, which
• In 2008, long service leave was 15 years and access to pro accommodation allowance of $50 day
undermined the rates our members were
rata at 10 years. In 2019, LSL is 10 years with access to pro where own room is not available. Mem-
paid. In 2019, labour hire is limited and
rata at 5 years. bers are also paid 8 hours for each day not
where they are engaged, they are paid the
• In 2008, PGE weekly guarantee was just $35,000 per year worked while they are away.
same rates as our members.
($673 week). In 2019, it is more than doubled at $71,750 • In 2008, members had to transfer from
In 2008, random drug testing was done
per year ($1379 per week). Kwinana to Fremantle and were not com-
by the invasive method of urine testing,
• In 2008, PGE accrued leave based on hours worked. In pensated. In 2019, members who
which detects the presence of certain
2019, PGE get full leave entitlements regardless of hours transferring to Kwinana get a $75 travel
drugs rather than impairment. In 2019,
worked. allowance.
our members utilise swab testing which is
• In 2008, meal allowance was not payable to PGE or • In 2008, redundancy was capped at 40 far less invasive and is a test that detects
casuals. In 2019, all members get meal allowance weeks inclusive of notice period. In 2019, presence while at work, not what you do
it is extended to 52 weeks with notice in your own time.
period additional.
In addition to these significant gains, there
• In 2008, the company managed perma- have been improvements across the board,
nents hours and any unworked hours rolled including with public holiday
into the next year. In 2019, there is a clear arrangements, heat agreement, planned
order of pick and any hours not worked are time off arrangements, allocation
waived on 30 June each year. We also now arrangements, ERC and OHS meetings,
have a roster rep who is paid by manage- training, dispute procedures, weekly
ment to ensure allocations have occurred pays... the list goes on. When you have
in accordance with the Agreement. a look at the gains we have made in just
the past 10 years, I reckon we’ve done a
• In 2008, labour reviews used to be us
pretty good job.
going cap-in-hand and management al-
ways said “next year was looking bad” so Our members know that these significant
very few upgrades occurred. In 2019, we outcomes are replicated across bulk and
have triggers based on real data and the general, in the terminals, in the offshore,
first review has delivered 29 upgrades in a the inshore, dredging, diving, port
workforce of 100. authorities and across all sectors and all
sites up and down the west coast and I
• In 2008, selection criteria was done
intend to highlight those victories in
by management and they clearly picked
future editions of the Rank and File Voice.
heads. In 2019, selection is done by a
Our strategic campaigns, the leadership of
much improved and fairer criteria and our
our mighty union and the unity, purpose
senior members are now equally involved
and willingness of our members to fight
in scoring process.
have delivered these fantastic outcomes
• In 2008, where there was a downturn, for future generations to enjoy.
the industry would generally move to
The employers, industry bodies and often
make permanents redundant without even
government have fought us on every
considering other options. In 2019,
change and the fight continues every day
members vote on how to address a
with the same gang seeking to take back
downturn which might include taking
what we have fought so hard for. One
LSL, reducing hours of work, or changing
thing is for sure, the only way to win is to
rosters etc. The key part of this clause is it
stick together.
allows members to implement solutions to
get them through downturns with full United we bargain - divided we beg

RANK&FILE VOICE FEBRUARY 2019 5


MUA WA BRANCH

BEST PRACTICE FOR ALL VESSELS


OFFSHORE The MUA book will set out the While there have been quiet times
MUA best practice and the union in the offshore over the past 12

A
t stop-work meetings
position on the majority of work months outside of the Inpex Proj-
late last year, mem-
scenarios (developed and endorsed ect, we anticipate a lot of work in
bers moved to create
by members). the second half of this year and the
an offshore standard
following three with major con-
book for all offshore In addition to best practice stan- struction projects coming online.
vessels. dards, the book will also contain
Report by It has been great to see the response
While we have EBAs in place that MUA information, dispute resolu-
DANNY CAIN from members to the proposal of a
set out terms and conditions of ASSISTANT SECRETARY
tion, how to deal with any injuries
better roster that will see the cre-
employment, there are a number that occur at work (or at home) and
ation of more MUA employment
0458 010 695 other relevant information.
of operations that sit outside the across the offshore sector.
EBA. Recently we have been able danny.cain@mua.org.au
Meetings will be held in the We will continue to do everything
to identify some disparity between coming weeks with delegates from
operators. possible to maximise employment
to be implementing best practice all offshore operators to develop through these quieter work periods
While there is no issue having across all vessels to ensure we the content before going out to the and ensure members are trained up
slightly different operating models create as many jobs as possible broader membership for discussion/ and have the skills/qualifications
per company/vessel, if it comes at and uphold the best possible safety debate and subsequent endorse- ready for when the work comes
the expense of manning, we need standards. ment. online.

Shorten backs Aussie seafarers and Australian shipping in


response to BHP’s act of corporate greed and bastardry
In response to the decision of BHP and Blue- have been covering materials in the steel and Have a look at ecological disasters caused by
scope Steel to throw Aussie seafarers off the iron industry, sending it around our coastline for ships of shame, that is ships registered in third
MV Mariloula and MV Lowands Brilliance a hundred years. world countries or in tax havens. Why does cor-
and replace them with cheap, exploited foreign porate Australia, the big end of town, think that
I’m a student of history. This is a convenient fact
seafarers being paid $2 per hour, the Federal the next quarter’s profits are more important than
which corporate Australia love to forget now,
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has described our environment, more important than Austra-
but nearly 270 ships were sunk off the Australian
BHP’s decision as an outrage. He has pledged to lian jobs, and more important than Australian
coastline in the Second World War. At the start of
get ships registered in Australia and to get more national security?
the Second World War, because we had privatised
Australian seafarers working along the
our shipping industries and sold it all off, we If we form a government, I make this pledge to
Australian coast if Labor won Government.
didn’t have enough Australian ships to carry our Australia: we are determined to get more ships
Shorten went on to ask: why does corporate troops to the Middle East, or to carry supplies registered in Australia and more Australian
Australia, the big end of town, think that the next to Australia. We didn’t have seafarers working along the Australian coastline.
quarter’s profits are more important than our en- enough seafarers, ships’ For me, this is not a matter of class-war. It’s a
vironment, more important than Australian jobs engineers and the like. matter of being an independent nation, con-
and more important Australian national security? History always repeats. trolling our transport costs, making sure that we
And what we have here is protect our environment, and making sure that as
For me, this is not a matter of class war. It’s a
amnesia from corporate an island nation we have ships. You know, in the
matter of being an independent nation,
Australia, who thinks that good times, maybe it doesn’t matter to corporate
controlling our transport costs, making sure that
the almighty dollar is the Australia.
we protect our environment, and making sure
only thing that matters.
that as an island nation we have ships”. But in the bad times, we’ll wish
we had more Aussie
BILL’S SHORTEN’S PLEDGE TO AUS- seafarers”.
TRALIA ABOUT AUSSIE SHIPPING
AND AUSSIE AUSSIE SEAFARERS
“The real issue which we’re
talking about is that I am
outraged that we’re going to
have no Australian ships left
on the Australian coastline.
“When this government says
You know, I do think that, as
everything is going fine... speak to a
an island nation, Australian seafarer who’s just lost a job
companies should be using because BHP is sending the ship
their product on Australian overseason and foreign flagging it.”
shores when they ship it,
in Australian ships, or at
least crewed by Austra- BILL SHORTEN
lian crews. Iron boats LEADER OF THE FEDERAL PARLIAMENTARY
LABOR PARTY

6 RANK&FILE VOICE FEBRUARY 2019


There is only one bus
to get on come the
next Federal Election

Put the Liberal -


National Party last
Premier needs to embrace
‘white knight’ long-term rescue
plan for Esperance Port
Macarthur has the full backing of hours for every hour that spodumene

T
he WA Branch is urging
Premier Mark McGowan ICBC (Industrial and Commercial would require. In a very basic sense
to reconsider a state Bank of China Limited) which is the that means thirteen jobs for every
government decision to largest bank in China, and poten- one job. Obviously that’s the big
overlook what is clearly tially the largest in the world. This issue for our members working at the
an offer too good to refuse from is definitely a serious offer and it port; people who live and spend their
mining company Macarthur Miner- warrants enthusiastic consideration wages in Esperance.
als. The deal would provide genuine, Report by given the benefits it represents to
Perhaps most surprising though, is
long-term job security for around 70 Esperance and Western Australia.
JEFF CASSAR the difference in financial return to
full-time workers at the Port Author- ASSISTANT SECRETARY The Cliffs mine that MRL picked up the state government (via the Port
ity in Esperance. is at the end of its operational life Authority). If the Port Authority
0417 568 115 while the Macarthur site, which is
Obviously, stevedores and mainte- jeff.cassar@mua.org.au
succumbs to the pressure being
nance workers at the Port are very 80km from MRL’s, is yet to com- applied by certain stakeholders and
grateful to the Premier for securing In contrast, the MRL deal doesn’t mence operations. ends up bringing in a bulk product
a short-term contract with Miner- provide any penalty for failing to It is absolutely vital that the Port like spodumene, they stand to make
al Resources Limited, but there is reach the forecasted six million secure a second, longer term mineral around $3 per tonne less profit than
enormous concern that while MRL tonnes per year and those in the ore client such as Macarthur for a what they would make handling
has managed to acquire the infra- know suggest that four million number of significant reasons. There iron/mineral ore. Over the course of
structure left behind by US-based tonnes is a much more realistic seems to be a concerted effort to get a year that could cost the port (and
Cliffs Natural Resources, it doesn’t expectation. The big question is, spodumene into the port and loaded the state government) as much as
have sufficient mineral resources to how long will this sustain current across the belts that would otherwise $2.8 million per year in lost revenue.
guarantee more than a few years of workforce numbers? be used to load ore. The whole basis of the MRL deal
operation. There is no genuine expectation To put it simply, that would be a cat- was that the infrastructure which
I reckon the best-case scenario is that that they will achieve the forecast astrophic outcome. Environmentally, Cliffs previously had effectively mo-
MRL manages to produce six million volumes and my concern is that, you can’t beat the current rotabox nopolised was to be made accessible
tonnes each year for the next four- rather than prevent wholesale redun- system for loading a bulk product to other players.
to-six years. But the view of most dancy at the port, the MRL deal will like spodumene, which transmits a It just makes sense that this infra-
stakeholders is that the depleted probably only delay it for a couple nuisance dust that contains quartz structure needs to be utilised to
mine that Cliffs walked away from of years. and can potentially cause cancer if its full potential, as profitably and
will be lucky to deliver anywhere Macarthur has sufficient magnetite to inhaled. effectively as possible.
close to that. deliver the same tonnages that Cliffs That’s got to be a massive issue from It’s seriously a no-brainer. If
To provide some perspective, Cliffs was producing over a period of at the community’s perspective. Macarthur can pick up the same deal
had a ‘take-or-pay’ contract which least 10 years and could potential-
I also believe there are solid financial arrangements extended to MRL then
ly continue to deliver for up to 30
pretty much committed them to de- reasons for finding another mineral the Port of Esperance will thrive for
livering 10 million tonnes each year years.
ore client. It is far more labour inten- decades and return big profits to the
or paying the Port Authority for the Previous claims by the Premier that sive to stevedore magnetite than it is state’s coffers on a long-term basis,
shortfall. That contract sustained 80 Macarthur did not represent a serious to handle a bulk product like spodu- and everyone’s a winner, especially
full-time jobs. option were well wide of the mark. mene. Ore requires 13.68 labour WA taxpayers.

8 RANK&FILE VOICE FEBRUARY 2019


MUA WA BRANCH

Onwards
UPWARDS
& forwards
WE GO IS THERE LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL?

M
embers, 2018 was an enormous Working at Sea is not just a job, but a lifestyle.
year, with our union consistently We deserve the right to work in their own
In the final weeks of December, WA had
being under attack. But as always, country.
we are continuously fighting back. contingent of eight that went across to the ALP
National Conference. Australian Seafarers are highly trained and high-
This past year, our branch wrapped up the very ly skilled workers.
long, drawn-out process of the Offshore EBAs. We managed to get up a number of significant
The reality for us now is that we must begin pre- outcomes for our membership, the main one There is no one better to help protect our
paring ourselves for the next round of EBA negoti- being the shipping reform that was voted up boarder security, our fuel security and our
ations, which will likely kick off later this year. unanimously by the members of the ALP. environment than local Australian seafarers.

Members should begin formulating their log of Further to this, the ALP platform now says With every ship that loses its Australian crew, as
claims in preparation for those negotiations. (should Bill Shorten and the ALP get voted in), a nation we lose our capacity to be self-reliant.
that they have 100 days to make the changes With more Australian crewed vessels, we
There have already been various claims put up required to begin rebuilding and revitalising our increase our own reliance on fickle overseas
at our stop work meetings in WA. This is a great coast with coastal shipping. powers and corporations for our economic
sign, as it demonstrates that our members are
security.
ready to take on these oil and gas majors again. As a former merchant seaman, I understand the
pain that our members have been through in the In short - we have Australian truck drivers who
I must admit that there are some very interesting
past years, whereby our fleet has been reduced travel on our highways, why shouldn’t we have
claims being tabled.
to only eight vessels left operating on our coast Australian seafarers travelling on our
For our members working in the offshore, this today. waterways.
EBA is important so we can begin to pave the
path to ensure that our agreements move into the Vicki Helps addresses the
21st century. ALP National Conference
We must address items in this agreement that over Australian shipping
should be a standard in any workplace that you
have to fly in and fly out of.
AMMA have once again been leading the charge
with representing employers at the Fair Work
Commission - OSM, AOS, Maersk are just to
name a few.
This goes to show that although the EBA
process has been completed, these grubby
fuckers continue to engage in an anti-union
crusade driven by the big end of town.
This is the same organisation that has
continuously attempted to try to block the
amalgamation of the CFMEU and the MUA, but
alas, failed again.

10 RANK&FILE VOICE FEBRUARY 2019


MUA WA BRANCH

MUA organising Perth’s ferries

WA ferry workers join the cause


In the past eight months, the WA Their time will come, when we ferries, put them in touch with me.
Branch has set out on a number of have an organised workplace and All ferry workers are encouraged to
new campaigns to organise workers the HR team at Rottnest Ferries are join with us and get on board with
so that they too can enjoy some of roped back into line. We won’t be the campaign to bring the ferry
the profits hauled in by big accepting any bullying and industry in line with conditions
business. One target in particular harassment from management there. enjoyed around the country.
has been the workers on board the
The ferry workers in WA have for If all workers were given all of
ferries in Western Australia. Report by too long been left alone, only for their entitlements, there would be
There are a number of workers GEORGE GAKIS their pay rates and workplace rights no place for unions.
on board these vessels operating ORGANISER to be eroded back to the bare
In this world, you don’t become
between Rottnest Island and the minimum. We will prevail.
0412 310 686 what you want to, you become
mainland or within the Swan River
george.gakis@mua.org.au All members whom know workers what you have to and that is a
whereby thousands of passengers
of any classification on board the unionist.
board each week. We think these (the Marine and Tourism Award) is
workers are being underpaid and incorrect. We are certain that at the SVITZER LINES AND LAUNCHES
overworked and it’s well and truly very least, the Ports, Harbours and
time that this changed. After more than 12 months of negotiations, the Lines and Launches
Enclosed Waters Award applies and EBA for Kwinana and Fremantle appears to be wrapped up. From
So far, we have been running a it could be possible that the agreement to disagreement and real threats of industrial action, it
successful campaign, with Seagoing Industry Award applies to seems we may have a deal. All members at the Lines and Launches site
members joining up in droves. We some of their operations which will need to be congratulated for their patient, but effective EBA.
have successfully represented and need to be tested within the FWC.
advised a number of new members
The Rottnest Fast Ferries. in
in disciplinary matters already.
Hillarys, has also recently lodged
Our numbers are growing signifi- to make an agreement with the Fair
cantly in this sector. Work Commission. This agree-
All of the operators have expired ment is also being challenged by
agreements and we are working the MUA on the same basis as the
hard to ensure that their workplace Sealink agreement, with that being
conditions and wages are all on an the relevant award coverage.
equal and level playing field. It’s At the Rottnest Ferries in
time to deliver these workers a fair Fremantle... well let’s just say that
day’s pay for a fair day’s work. their HR management team are
We have mostly been involved some of the worst. They bully,
with the Sealink Ferry EBAs and stand over and intimidate their
recently these discussions have employees in an effort to keep
come to a halt as a result of the these workers tamed and
MUA arguing that the Award that reporting yes to every one of their Svitzer members unite to fight
the employer is currently applying demands.

RANK&FILE VOICE FEBRUARY 2019 11


MUA WA BRANCH

Keeping diving from


stepping back in time
OFFSHORE DIVING EBA UPDATE

I
n July 2018, Neptune Diving
made an application to cancel
their offshore agreement to put
workers back on the 2010 Award
rates of pay and conditions.
The critical issue for divers was the
Report by
pressure it put on all the other offshore
diving companies to reduce their rates
JACK MCCABE
ORGANISER
and conditions if they were to win work
against Neptune. 0410 390 081
This was the biggest threat we have jack.mccabe@mua.org.au
seen in the offshore diving industry. It
comes after industry, in 2016, attempted
EA NEGOTIATIONS AND LOG OF
to reduce divers’ rates by a flat 20%
of the total day rate. At that same time CLAIMS
riggers in the industry had their rates cut In July, we sent the Log of Claims to
by around 20%. AMMA the industry representative.
Neptune sought to take the diving Some of the claims were around local
industry back decades. We fought this content, ratchetting and training - all
with everything we had. important issues for the MUA offshore
diving membership.
The MUA responded to Neptune’s appli-
cation to cancel their agreement by en- AMMA’s response to our request for
gaging counsel. We have come too far to a meeting to discuss the diving was
let Neptune, or any company, undermine “employers did not agree to meeting as
this industry with the stroke of a pen. an industry, to re-negotiate a new agree-
ment so there would be no meetings at
This dispute consumed our time and this point in time”. AMMA indicated
resources over months, especially in that the industry had no appetite for in-
the midst of negotiating the offshore dustry negotiations on a new agreement
agreement. We also needed to send a and basically the MUA could do its best
message to the entire offshore industry on behalf of its members.
– if you were to engage Neptune on a
job, any job, then expect a response on Will Tracey put it to Simon White that it
that vessel and across that project. is the preferred view of the MUA and its
membership to conduct industry nego-
We would not accept the undermining tiations if possible – but given that we
of our members’ wages and conditions don’t beg, we will accept the industry
through the deliberate tactic of cancel- position as put by AMMA on industry’s
ling agreements, that legitimises the use behalf and we will consult our member-
of Award rates and conditions in any ship on our options.
industry we are in.
We need to remind our membership
This corrupt behaviour by an offshore that the refusal to negotiate an industry
diving employer was met with the agreement comes shortly after the first
strongest opposition, and any major employer in the offshore space across
oil and gas client who wishes to have any MUA area of coverage, Neptune,
this fight on their job will have done so moved to cancel their offshore diving
without the industrial certainty that our agreement by making an application to
agreements provide. Fair Work - a decision that was reversed
In August, Neptune withdrew their after the MUA responded immediately
and aggressively as detailed earlier.
application to cancel the agree-
ment. It was an almost identical We called a meeting of divers to
response to the inshore diving agree- update on this unfortunate approach
ment that they tried to cancel earlier. from AMMA. Every offshore mem-

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MUA WA BRANCH
ber should understand what happened and reduced validity
when AMMA got control of the ROV
industry after the MUA handed it back 4 Training for project specific equip-
to the AMOU over five years ago - we ment (SLS/Cobra etc) now included
watched day rates slide back by 50% under training allowances.
and foreign ROV crews take all of the
work. 5 To reduce the risk of Sat Diving
Ratchetting, each Sat team will be given
Since then, we have been in discussions a nominated 12-hour shift that they
with a breakaway group of employers will retain for the duration of Sat Work
to see if we could move discussions in outside of those 12 hours could attract
the direction of industry negotiations overtime.
without AMMA’s involvement, so we
could halt the attempts to dismantle the 6 Minimum manning levels for Air and
offshore diving rates and conditions of Sat now specified (minimum) to ensure
employment while work was scarce. enough crew are hired. Note that this is
We informed our members that we have the absolute minimum and does not take
into consideration 24-hour air ops or
secured a small group of offshore diving
twin bell Sat systems etc.
employers who are willing to progress
an industry outcome for offshore divers.
The process we have undertaken was
7 Now specified that the role of Air/Sat
Superintendent cannot be a dual role of
approved by those rank and file divers
Supt/OCM.
who attended the meetings or were pres-
ent on the jobs that we spoke to through ATLAS PROFESSIONAL (PROGRAMMED
vessel meetings by satellite phone. MARINE)
As this paper goes to print, divers are With the recent departure of the Posh
going to a vote on an industry agree- Arcadia, there is a concern about the
ment, with the first of the breakaway future for a lot of our members, with
diving companies. The other two Atlas only having two jobs left on the
companies have also confirmed their coast the Mermaid Vantage (tender) and
approval of the agreement and they will the Semi-Submersible Rig DPS1
go to a vote in the near future. This will
The union has had meetings with Atlas
give our members in the diving industry
regarding what this means for MUA
certainty going forward to July 2022
members.
1 Removal of the Rigs and Platforms Over the past five months we have had
rate which was typically 20% less than discussions, (dispute) with Atlas, having
the Other than Rigs and Platforms rate. industry-based bargaining meetings
The new EBA only has one rate, for all with deputy Commissioner Binet as
projects; the higher rate. mediator, over the proposed redundancy
processes.
2 Have negotiated a 4-year term expir-
ing on 15 August 2022 As part of the process, Atlas have had
a range of voluntary measures in place,
a Year 1 (effective date of the EBA giving workers the opportunity to take a
1 July 18 – 1 July 19) has an initial 3% redundancy rather than be forced out of
reduction in the previous EBA effective employment.
from the acceptance of this new agree-
ment (no retrospectivity) The departure of the Posh Arcadia is
a massive loss to our members. It was
b Year 2 (1 July 19 – 1 July 20) has a the largest vessel on the coast, with the
1.5% increase in all wages and allow- most crew and it has left a lot of MUA
ances members without a workplace.

c Year 3 (1 July 20 – 1 July 21) has a In order to have full consultation with
2% increase or CPI (whichever is high- all members, we will be holding town
er) in all wages and allowances hall meetings around the country, giving
members the opportunity to hear from
d Year 4 (1 July 21 – 1 July 22) has a both Atlas management and MUA
2% increase or CPI (whichever is high- officials on the current situation. It will
er) in all wages and allowances also give all members the opportunity
to ask any questions with everyone in
e On 1 July 22 the EBA will receive
the same room. There will be a meeting
a 1% increase on its expiration unless a on the east coast as well as video and
higher percentage is negotiated in line phone hook ups.
with a new EBA
As always, it is extremely important
3 No decrease in DMT allowance. In that members attend stop work meet-
effect DMT receives a 25% increase in ings to ensure you have your say on
rates line with course cost escalations what is happening in your industry.

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MUA WA BRANCH

Anything is
possible with
a little VISION
Report by
DAN FALCONE
ORGANISER

0404 390 075


daniel.falcone@mua.org.au

omrades, I am writing

C
firm.
this email to share the
story of the collective
strength of the MMA
Vision Crew and their
achievements as a result of standing place additional fatigue and stress on
the crew during a difficult time of the
year.
crew for taking a stand over safety.
They threatened them via email to the
mended and followed by all Australian
seafarers, right across the nation.
During this time of year it’s hard skipper, alleging they were engaging in On day four, MMA management went
enough being away from loved ones It was also a blatant breach of the Enter- illegal unprotected industrial Action and to the crew with their tails between their
without your employer threatening prise Agreement as it failed to comply would, at a minimum, have four-hours legs, and agreed to properly man the
your livelihood and cutting corners with the manning scale contained in it. pay deducted from their salaries. And if vessel.
on safety in order to penny pinch for the illegal unprotected industrial action
The HR manager tried to worm out The additional crew arrived at the ves-
a grubby offshore oil and gas compa- went for longer than four hours, they
of his obligation to comply with the sel the next day; an outcome that was
ny - no doubt acting under instruc- would lose a day’s pay for it.
agreement by stating that in the past only achieved through the solidarity of
tions from the muppets at AMMA.
it had been done with fewer seafarers This intimidation did not stop the the crew onboard the Vision.
Last week, the Vision was down blokes from pursuing a safe work
and that other industry players had Comrades in the fleet and the broad-
manned and then, with no consul- completed similar voyages while being environment and, a day after the threats
er offshore need to acknowledge the
tation or discussion, the crew were undermanned. were made, MMA wanted to cut a deal
Christmas gift provided to two families
notified that the vessel would sail to engage the marine cook, if we agreed
These unsubstantiated stories don’t who have picked up a swing off the
to Singapore where the crew would to forgo the fourth IR.
hold much weight coming from a bloke back of the collective and take pride
leave the vessel.
refusing to comply with his obligations The MMA gave the MUA assurances in the fact that the collective will win
The crew immediately contacted the and placing his employees at risk. that this would not be the normal prac- every time.
Union via the delegate onboard to tice going forward.
The crew backed in their position and Next time it might be your family who
raise their concerns over a Schedule
backed in the Union to sort this matter THIS WAS FLATLY REJECTED BY are able to breathe a little easier when
1 vessel sailing without a fourth IR
THE MUA CREW ONBOARD THE an opportunity like this presents itself.
and a marine cook as per the manning out. And after getting around the road
blocks put up by MMA management, VISION.
scale contained in MMAVO Enter- By refusing to cut corners on safety and
prise Agreement. the members on board advised the Deals to undermine safety and further sticking to your EBAs, we ensure we
skipper that they would not be sailing cruel the Australian seafarers in the don’t piss our conditions away.
The Union relayed the safety con-
the vessel without the correct crewing offshore oil and gas industry would not
cerns held by the crew in relation to Once again, congratulations to the Vi-
complement. occur on their watch.
the company’s intention to sail the sion crew and I wish everyone a happy,
vessel undermanned, which would MMA went on a full scale attack on the This is a position that should be com- healthy and prosperous New Year.

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MEMBER LETTER - ONBOARD THE VISION company policy that wants employees to enforce. advise at suchshort notice - to see if what the
company was doing was legal or not - was a
Hello comrades, I would just like to say that if If it’s a matter of health and safety we all have the
massive relief.
something doesn’t feel right, 9 out of 10 times it right to stop the job, make it safe and continue
probably isn’t. forward. We have to stick together and stand up And thank you MUA lawyer too.
for our EBA .
My name is Patrick and I was one of the lads on It made all the difference. I’m rapt that we got the
the Vision. I would also like to say that during this It’s our bible that gives us our entitlements. other two spots filled. It made all the difference
safety issue we all still carried out all other duties to fatigue and STCW hour management on our
required in relation to our positions held on the I would just like to say thank you to the MUA,
vessel.
vessel. especially Daniel Falcone and Chris Cain. This
issue was thrown in our lap by the company and Alsoone of the in-coming lads told me that he
I see a lot of young comrades coming into this in- we were rightly concerned as surely they can’t be hadn’t seen work in over 2.5 months. Helping
dustry and we all need to educate them ,as it’s not
doing this and it didn’t feel right. each other is who we all are.
a matter of refusing to do your job (as what the
company allegedly accused us off), BUT utilising Just knowing that we had someone honest with In unity,
your STOP WORK AUTHORITY which is a us to ring to check and to receive guidance and Patrick Jokovich

RANK&FILE VOICE FEBRUARY 2019 15


Mid-West membership

BAND TOGETHER
I
n December, I called for an Mid-West The EBA has been signed and is currently and is not the new organiser responsible for
Annual General Meeting (AGM). The sitting with the the site.
members turned out in great num- commission. We anticipate that this agree-
I would like to thank all the members and
bers, with more than 60 members in ment is passed by the FWC in the coming
particularly the delegates in Geraldton for
attendance on the day. weeks.
standing up for your workplace rights.
This was up approximately 20 from last year. There are new sites that the MUA needs to
get into, such as Karrara and Vac West. If Contact Doug on:
A special thanks has to be mentioned to Jason Mobile: 0428 222 092
anyone has any contacts within those work-
Moylan and the Geraldton Beach Hotel for Email: doug.heath@mua.org.au
places, please get them to call us.
having us throughout the week for both the
training and the AGM. We have an opportunity to get George Gakis
these workers into our union.
The Mid-West membership needs to be con-
CBH Geraldton has also
gratulated for their Mick Price is
joined up into to the Offshore
fantastic turnout on the day. Sadly, however presented with
Alliance, which the MUA his MUA Life
there were some sites that were not represent-
and AWU are working Membership
ed, which demonstrates to us that we must
together on. by Christy Cain
work harder to get those workers engaged.
Finally, Doug Heath has
After years of negotiations with the Mid-West
taken over the portfo-
Port Authority, the MUA has managed to
lio of the Mid-West
secure an agreement which covers all port
membership
workers.

FROM THE MEMBER organised work-


place.
By Dave Oliver
MUA Maintenance Delegate Because of the new faces, a lot
Mid-West Port Authority of fresh ideas were discussed.
On the other hand, it was a bit cials Jeff Cassar, Danny Cain and of Geraldton members.
It is fantastic to be able to have an-
of a disappointment that some of Adrian Evans.
other MUA Geraldton Port AGM By John Paul
the Ports’ newer members did not Christy presented Mick Price life
combined with delegate training MUA Delegate
attend because they could have membership after 48 years service.
provided by Paul Brett. He did an ABS, Mid-West Ports
gone back to their work mates and The only disappointment was not
excellent job with empowering the
spread the word about what they The MUA Geraldton Port AGM
delegates and giving us a greater seeing more members from the
would had learnt. provided a great few days for us to
capacity to assist members in our BHF area, as it would have been
put a face to other MUA com-
respective workplaces. The MUA Mid-West Port AGM good for them to understand a bit
rades, meeting Branch Officers
was well organised by George more about the organisation.
Paul ensured that everyone and hearing first hand about other
Gakis and our new Port organiser
understood the course content Being able to have a few drinks issues that are on the forefront of
Doug Heath.
and encouraged us to get actively together and meet people to find our industrial struggles.
involved. It was great to see the It was really good to see such a out more about the union was
CBH delegates participating for good turn out from our National valuable. Geraldton members The training was informative and
the first time. They livened up the Union President and WA Branch would like to say thanks to George gave further insight of how to deal
discussions and clearly have a well Secretary Christy Cain and offi- and welcome Doug into our family with rising issues professionally
and promptly encouraging fair-
ness amongst all workers.
From this training, being a new
MUA Delegate, I now understand
what the Union stands and fights
for so much more.
Thank you to all the West Austra-
lian Branch Officials and Organ-
isers for their efforts in protecting
The WA Branch executive with the
Mid-West membership the future for ourselves and our
children’s job security.
OFFSHORE
MUA WA BRANCH

ALLIANCE
saving your wages
ffshore workers continue to sign The legal component of the campaign continues ments for workers in drilling, maintenance and

O up to the Offshore Alliance as we


undertake an industry approach to
reverse the negative trend of the
past 10 years.
This trend has seen workers’ wages, conditions
and job security progressively go backwards
to escalate and build momentum as we see three
agreements removed from the FW Commission
as a result of our legal challenges over the past
two months.

DIAMOND OFFSHORE
catering.
The result would be a significant reduction in
workers’ wages and conditions as companies
would point to these agreements and insist that
if they don’t have the same agreement or better,
they will lose the contract. (Race to the bottom)
through the registration of inferior, baseline (DRILLING)
agreements. Any baseline agreements in the offshore industry
Baseline agreement - $113,000 per year
affects all MUA members as they are constantly
Some offshore workers have lost up to $40,000
used by clients and contractors at negotiations as
a year in wages due to a lack of union presence
the new standard for all offshore workers.
in the sector. MONADELPHOUS MWSL
Each sector of the broad Alliance campaign has
Sodexo Catering workers on Prelude (Shell) (OFFSHORE MAINTENANCE) their own industrial/legal strategy that will be
have recently been stripped of $20,000 a year,
Baseline Agreement - $32 per hour communicated to the membership and indi-
taking their offshore wage to $89,000 per year.
for tradesman vidual updates will be sent to members in the
With more than 300 members signing up to the relevant sector as the campaigns progress.
Alliance in the past five months, we are now
in a position where we are setting up delegate With all sectors working together for a common
structures on facilities to ensure that workers are
SODEXO OFFSHORE goal and alongside our strong MUA member-
represented on every facility. We have commu- (CATERING) ship, we have a massive opportunity to make
nication across an entire industry leading into Baseline Agreement - $89,000 per year some real change in an industry where we
negotiations with contractors and clients this have seen workers lose all power to fight back
year. These wins should not be understated and have against multi-national companies and anti-union
signaled to employers that we will not sit by and contractors.
AMMA’s feeble attempt to make themselves
allow further sub-standard, baseline agreements United we win
relevant in the industry is falling on deaf ears
to come into the industry.
with the majority of employers deciding not to Danny Cain
listen to their bullshit and instead take a sensible If left unchallenged, these agreements would MUA WA Branch Assistant Secretary
approach to industrial relations. be registered and would be the go-to agree- Offshore Alliance Organiser

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OFFSHORE
ALLIANCE
re-launches to provide effective industrial
representation for all offshore workers

I
t’s great to be back in Kwong in regardless of occupation,
Alley, albeit in a different employer or workplace.
role, as I’ve taken up a joint
This is critical in our struggle
organising role with both the
against the ultra-right-wing
MUA and AWU to organise
militants from AMMA and the
offshore construction and mainte-
oil and gas multinationals.
nance workers in the WA and NT
offshore hydrocarbon sectors. The formation of the Offshore
Over the past three years, the
Report by Alliance reflects a progressive
bosses have become more bellig-
DOUG HEATH view within both the AWU and
MUA & MUA about the need to put
erent and have taken full advan- Offshore Alliance Organiser
tage of the downturn in work and aside outdated historical differ- tion as ensuring workers got “a
0428 222 092 ences relating to issues such as fair go”.
weak industrial laws to exploit doug.heath@mua.org.au
workers at every opportunity. constitutional coverage of work. This would have to be the
Metals Association (AMMA) These need to be well and truly biggest load of bullshit ever
The economic and political spoken.
as they push to remove union buried if we are to successfully
cycle is starting to turn however
influence in the West Coast re-organise the upstream hy-
and the weasels, fleas and shy- The Fair Work Act has been far
hydrocarbon sector. from fair. The drafting of the
sters from the big end of town drocarbon sector in WA and the
are starting to get nervous. While our culture has copped Northern Territory. (Un)Fair Work Legislation was
a battering, our membership is The Offshore Alliance’s co-opera- either incompetent or there was
Their industrial sins of recent Machiavellian intent to ensure
years will catch up with them resilient and have done a great tive model of organising com-
job to maintain union EBAs in that employers got the upper
when workers get back on a bines the industrial, organisation-
hand.
more level industrial footing. a resource sector that is littered al, legal and political strength of
with sub-standard non-union base the MUA and the AWU. One of the biggest rorters of the
ORGANISING THE OFFSHORE line Enterprise Agreements and Fair Work Act has been Mona-
HYDROCARBON SECTOR Offshore workers will only ben-
dodgy common law contracts. delphous (or Monoselfish).
efit from this approach.
Over the past few years, the Organising the broader hy- This outfit has set up 30 $2
offshore sector has become EMPLOYERS GAMING THE shelf companies to operate its
drocarbon sector will not only
largely de-regulated, leaving benefit offshore construction,
SYSTEM – THE RULES ARE labour-hire and mechanical
the MUA as the only union with maintenance, catering, produc- BROKEN construction and maintenance
100% coverage of their sector tion and rig workers working When the Rudd Government businesses.
of work. on the rigs and platforms, but it passed the Fair Work Act in In the WA offshore sector,
IRs, marine cooks and stewards ultimately means that seafarers 2008, the then ALP Industrial Monadelphous is using no less
have increasingly become a tar- will be part of a larger unionised Relations Minister, Julia Gil- than five different companies to
get of the Australian Mines and industry that backs each other lard, described the new legisla- employ its workforce.

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Every one of these compa- critical in the re-organisation of


nies ‘found’ three employees the industry.
to ‘vote’ up dodgy enterprise
GERALDTON PORT
agreements that have ripped
apart traditional union standards One of my other key areas of
and conditions. responsibility moving forward
will be to assist workers em-
MONADELPHOUS – DESTROYING ployed at Mid-West port.
STANDARDS FOR OFFSHORE
I am picking up the organising
MAINTENANCE AND
of Geraldton from the Gak who
CONSTRUCTION WORKERS has done a great job there over
Since picking up contracts from the past couple of years.
Woodside, Inpex and Shell, We have some serious issues
Monadelphous has become the coming our way with the
biggest offshore maintenance impending loss of the MGI
and construction company on contract at Mid-West Ports and
the West Coast. the likelihood that there will be
are forced to return home at step in exposing the corporate considerably less shipping in
Its corporate growth has come
the end of swing having been rorts of the big end of town. We
at great expense to its offshore the foreseeable future.
awake for well over 24 hours intend taking up the fight on
maintenance workforce.
and sometimes up to 36 hours. behalf of all offshore workers I intend getting up to Gerald-
Workers previously employed to restore our ‘stolen’ wages ton at least once a month and
This shit is criminal and Mon-
by Transfield Worley were adelphous, Woodside, Shell
and conditions and want Mon- encourage members to contact
given a blunt choice by Mon- adelphous to return the 38 per me about any issues they need
and Inpex will have blood on
adelphous when they picked cent pay cuts they ripped off assistance with moving forward.
their hands if there is a fatali-
up the Woodside maintenance ty arising from this industrial
workers. Last year’s AGM was a great
contract – take a 38% pay cut or negligence. introduction to the Geraldton
Our struggle won’t come easy
f*** off. crew. There is a good active
They have been put on notice. but the unity of workers will
Corporate thuggery at its worst. ultimately defeat the corporate membership in Geraldton and
OFFSHORE ALLIANCE – greed of employers. a delegate structure which
Not only has Monadelphous provides a sound foundation
wrecked workers’ wages and
FIGHTING BACK I encourage all MUA seafarers to ensuring workers get good
conditions, but they have done The Offshore Alliance is getting to assist in our organisation of industrial representation at the
a good job at destroying safety great traction since its launch the broader offshore workforce workplace.
standards. late last year. in WA and the NT.
I’m looking forward to repre-
Workers coming off night shift We are not going to take a back Education about union values is senting the Geraldton crew.

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2019: YEAR OF THE EARTH PIG

Report by
PAUL BRETT
NORTH-WEST ORGANISER
0427 198 376
Paul.brett@mua.org.au But the winner for 2018, is the cock
that pretended his employee wasn’t

A
new year has begun and at work on the day of the injury.
with it comes the same
It was all part of a longer-term plan
shit that happened last
to starve out the employee by
year, probably.
creating enough doubt in the
insurer’s mind so that they refuse to
While I’m sure there is much to
accept liability, leaving the injured
write about that falls on the positive
worker without an income, without a
side of the ledger, I find myself in
job, without the proper treatment and
what would best be described as a
with no contact from the company’s
glass half-empty frame-of-mind and
designated cock responsible for
probably won’t focus too much on
injury management.
the positive stuff.
It is all designed to avoid getting a
To move forward, I think we need
worker’s comp stat against the compa-
to look back at 2018 and tell it to go
ny’s name and to hopefully pay out as
fuck itself properly.
little as possible to the employee once
THE YEAR THAT HAPPENED they can no longer afford to continue.
Before I kick off on a rant, there are Congratulations, you evil man.
positive results I need to highlight, ment for all the time they’ve spent again are examples of how solidarity To finish off in the solidarity theme
not just because of the result itself, working in Port Hedland, which is works. and sticking together - a quote from
but how it got done. pretty confronting in itself.
The best part of the conference, in a briefing note put out in January last
KBMS EA NEGOTIATIONS In light of this, the initial number my opinion, was the presentation year by the Centre for Future Work.
EA negotiations wrapped up late of jobs offered by QUBE fell short by Dr Eric Lim from the Worker’s Director of the centre, Dr Jim Stan-
2018 for KBMS members working of the numbers triggered in the EA. Doctor. ford, says: there is ‘a close statistical
on the tugs in King Bay. Members The ERC disputed the matter, didn’t relationship’ between the reduction
This leads me into some of the rea-
across all three unions stood together move from the numbers agreed to in days lost in industrial action over
sons that 2018 can go fuck itself.
100% throughout negotiations and I by workforce and by simply sticking the last 50 years and the current rate
have to say, I really fuckin’ like that together and to the EA, they got as The Worker’s Doctor essentially aims of growth in pay which is the lowest
shit - not just because a good EA got many upgrades over the line as the to stand in the way of employees since the Second World War. Under
up, because they stuck together and other ports put together. getting fucked over when they find the current legislative regime, union
sticking together works. themselves injured, which, in high members ‘confront a daunting set of
Nice story that one.
risk industries such as ours, happens legal, administrative and economic
There’s no genius in it. Further proof TERMINAL SAFETY CONFERENCE all too often. barriers … to undertake collective
that sticking together works, is the
(SYDNEY) Having worked for fuckheads industrial action in support of their
shit-ton of evidence that proves not
myself, I am familiar with how bargaining goals. A Unions’ ability
sticking together, doesn’t work. Listening to comrades employed
employers fuck with employees in to win better wages and conditions
at Hutchison Ports in Pakistan and
QUBE PORT HEDLAND Indonesia, talk of their three-month the worker’s comp system. There’s is ‘significantly undermined’ without
been some interesting approaches to the ability to back up their demands
Ten Casuals went to GWE; eight old union’s beginnings because of
keeping injured employees off work- ‘with at least a meaningful threat of
GWEs went to VSE. That sentence the number of deaths and serious
er’s comp throughout 2018, such as collective action’.
likely means fuck-all to most, but incidents occurring daily, is a wakeup
it basically means 10 people don’t call to how evil an employer must be allocating them to cushy, high paying The fact that employers and
have to be casuals anymore, which is to implement completely different gigs, with all expenses put on a credit employer representative groups
pretty fuckin good in my book. levels of safety to employees per- card, just as long as they don’t put in fought extremely hard to ensure
forming exactly the same work, just a claim for worker’s comp. Individual employees have rights to
About one third of the workforce
because they can. represent themselves, and no longer
moved up a level – which is also Vessel masters perform light duties
have to be union members, is good
pretty fucking good – and not just Apart from having impressively large from home on full pay just as long as
enough reason to be a union member.
because of money. It’s as much about balls, these guys spoke through trans- they don’t put in a claim for worker’s
the recognition and acknowledge- lators with emotion and humour and comp. Up yours 2018.

20 RANK&FILE VOICE FEBRUARY 2019


$
MUA WA BRANCH

LIFE BEFORE PROFIT$I


G
oing to work should be place deaths must not
Greens are taking up the
a right available for all be left to WorkSafe alone any
fight for WA workers to
working-age Western legislate industrial longer. When decisions are made that
Australians. It should manslaughter result in a death, and an employer
form the basis for our laws in WA knew this, it needs to be recognised
families, communities and state’s for the crime that it is.
welfare and prosperity. Every worker
The need for the introduction
is entitled to return home from work
of criminal offences to improve
safe and well at the end of a day.
workplace safety and reduce the
Unfortunately, as we know, this is not
number of people killed at work was
always the case.
identified by the National Review
On average in WA, one person is into Model Occupational Health and
fatally injured at work every 20 Safety Laws of 2008-09. The review
days. This disgraceful statistic has recognised my long-held view that
remained fairly stable over the past making non-compliance in duty of
17 years. In 2017, 20 workers lost care a criminal offence reinforces its
their lives while at work or as a result seriousness – and acts as a deterrent.
of injuries sustained at work. The offence of industrial manslaugh-
We await the release of official ter is recognised in the UK – and
statistics for 2018, though I expect closer to home in the ACT and
they will be just as horrifying. We Queensland. In October, the Federal
know that three workers were killed Senate inquiry into industrial deaths
at work in just one week in WA in in Australia released its final report,
October. which included recommendations
this by creating the offence of indus- tion of industrial manslaughter laws that industrial manslaughter laws be
The figures are maddening, devastat- adopted in WA – and in all Australian
trial manslaughter under the Criminal means moving responsibility from
ing; but the steady rate of workplace jurisdictions. The report recognised
Code. the relatively abstract company level,
tragedies shows no signs of slowing. that a range of reforms are needed to
to holding liable individuals directly
Too many families have been left It is currently difficult to prosecute make workplaces safer, but holding
responsible.
absolutely bereft. Too many parents, a company for manslaughter under culpable employers personally re-
spouses and children have been left the Criminal Code. As things stand, I am proposing that penalties for the sponsible for deaths, was a good start.
behind to live with the legacy of it must be demonstrated that an indi- offence of industrial manslaughter
their loved ones’ deaths for the rest vidual has directly caused an incident will mirror existing provisions for Workplace laws should be fair and
of their lives. There is much more which led to a worker’s death, before manslaughter, which allow for a protect all workers from unjust
a prosecution can take place. Under maximum of life in prison. treatment and unfair conditions.
Government could be doing to ensure
the legislation I’m proposing, senior The sudden death of a loved one is
workplaces are safe.
Importantly, my bill will mean legal absolutely devastating and chang-
managers will be held liable if they
Law reform is urgently needed – and recourse for workplace deaths will es the course of many lives. It is
make a decision which knowingly
long overdue. Culpable employ- no longer exist solely under occupa- particularly horrendous when such
allows an unsafe workplace.
ers must be held responsible for tional health and safety laws, which tragedies are avoidable. No worker’s
workplace deaths. My Criminal Code If that decision leads to a death are woefully inadequate, but allow life should ever be sacrificed in the
Amendment (Industrial Manslaugh- or injury leading to death, those for additional prosecution under the pursuit of profit.
ter) Bill 2017, which is currently senior managers can be individually Criminal Code. Responsibility for Hon Alison Xamon MLC, Greens
before the Parliament, seeks to do prosecuted. Ultimately, the introduc- investigating and prosecuting work- spokesperson for Worker Safety

RANK&FILE VOICE FEBRUARY 2019 21


BHP
The
un-Australian
corporate
THUGS
BHP - The un-Australian corporate THUGS
After our January stop work meeting, 150 MUA members – with the backing of the CFMEU,
TWU and ETU - occupied the BHP offices in Perth to protest them sacking Aussie seasfarers.
In January 2019, BHP and Blue Scope decided without
consultation that the MV Mariloula and MV Lowlands Brilliance
would be dumped immediately despite Australian ships having
serviced BHP and subsequently BlueScope in this
country for more than 100 years.

When in 2015, Blue Scope


cried poor because of a
downturn in the Australian
Steel Industry, MUA mem-
bers on the MV Mariloula
and MV Lowlands Brilliance
agreed to a pay freeze.
Blue Scope and BHP have
now returned their thanks
to members by sacking them
and bringing in foreign
seafarers being paid just $4
per hour.
This is despite a turnaround
in Blue Scope’s economic
fortunes where they are now
making profits in excess of
$1.6 billion.
Meanwhile, BHP raked in
$12.36 Billion of profits in
2018; most of it ripped out
of the ground in Western
Australia and Queensland
and the rest ripped off from
developing countries.
In Australia, most BHP sites
are plagued with labour hire
workers being paid flat rates
of pay – many of whom are
receiving less than the legal
minimum Award.
CONTINUED NEXT PAGE
BHP’S ACT OF CRIMINAL ENVIRONMENTAL NEGLIGENCE IS THE WORST ENVIRONMENTAL DISASTER IN BRAZIL’S HISTORY.

FROM PREVIOUS PAGE Closer to home, BHP’s decision to put 80 our January stop work meeting, 150 MUA
Australian seafarers on the members – with the backing of the CF-
Around the country, BHP have increased
unemployment scrap heap is another chap- MEU, TWU and ETU - occupied the BHP
it’s casualised contracting workforce from
51% to 57% in the past two years. During
ter in their sorry history of offices in Perth to protest about the sack-
corporate bastardry. ings. It was great to get the support of not
that time, 87% of all new jobs on BHP
sites around the country have been filled by BHP paid its CEO Andrew Mackenzie only those other blue-collar unions, but to
casual workers. This outfit is out of control. $8.11 million in 2018; that’s $155,000 per have Federal Senator Glen Sterle and MUA
week, or about $4k an hour - not a bad earn backed State ALP politician Kyle McGinn
Around the world, BHP have developed a
if you can get it and mummy and daddy back-in the Union’s position.
reputation for being the ugly Australian.
sent you to the right school. McKenzie Senator Sterle and Chief Cook (MP) Mc-
Their acts of corporate thuggery have ex- makes more money in four days than the
tended from Ok Tedi in Papua New Guinea Ginn had no hesitation in walking side by
Australian blue water crews on the MV side with MUA members as we marched
to Mariana in Brazil. In Ok Tedi, BHP Mariloula and MV Lowlands Brilliance
fucked up the lives of 50,000 into BHP’s offices to demand they change
earned in a whole year.
people by destroying a river system that their position to sack Aussie seafarers. It’s
extended for nearly 1000km. In just four hours, McKenzie earns more a pity that all politicians aren’t like them.
money than a foreign seafarer (on a foreign
In search of higher profits to feed the flagged vessel carrying BHP’s iron ore
At the local level, we have a Premier who
bellies of their executive management lines up with the big end of town and
from WA to Blue Scope in Port Kembla)
and shareholders, BHP wantonly dumped makes in a whole year - and that’s only if refuses to meet with Christy Cain. Who
thousands of tonnes of mine tailings in the the seafarer worked 12 hours per day, 365 the fuck does McGowan think voted him
Fly and Ok Tedi Rivers and poisoned their into parliament? The BHP fat cats or West
days straight and had no leave.
river systems. Australian workers? What right does Mc-
This is exploitation at its worst. I’d be in- Gowan have to blacklist our State Secre-
The BHP fat cats’ remorse for wrecking the
teresting to see how long McKenzie would tary? Absolutely none.
lives and communities of tens of thousands
last cooped up on one of BHP’s vessels.
of PNG villages was another case of fat cat We are fortunate that our Federal ALP lead-
Our guess is it’d be less than 2min.
crocodile tears. er Bill Shorten, has twice the backbone and
BHP’s decision to sack Aussie seafarers
In November 2015, BHP were 1000 time the ticker of our WA Premier.
has been strongly condemned by the MUA
responsible for the Bento Rodrigues dam
at both a national and local level. After Doug Heath
disaster when an iron ore tailings dam in
Mariana, Minas Gerais, Brazil, collapsed,
resulting in flooding that destroyed the WHAT A SHORTEN GOVERNMENT MEANS FOR AUSTRALIAN SEAFARERS
village of Bento Rodrigues. Over the past three decades, government neglect and corporate greed have combined to
BHP’s act of criminal environmental neg- wreak havoc on the Australian shipping industry. If the ALP form government in May
ligence is the worst environmental disaster 2019, a Shorten Government has committed to the following shipping reforms:
in Brazil's history. 1 The requirement to have Australian flagged vessels for carrying cargo between Austra-
Around 60 million cubic meters of iron lian Ports;
waste flowed into the Doce River, 2 The employment of Australian crew;
causing toxic brown mudflows to
3 The requirement for Australian crew to be paid Australian wages and conditions of
pollute the river and beaches. This
employment.
pollution ended up in the Atlantic Ocean
where 17 people were killed, and thousands Let’s back the ALP into Government at the Federal level because another term of LNP
of people were displaced - another BHP Government will be a disaster for our seafaring membership. It’s time for all members to
humanitarian disaster. get active, involved and help throw the LNP out and get Bill Shorten elected.
Wa state
conference
26 February 2019
to 1 March 2019
MUA WA BRANCH

The WA State Government is

FRACKING IRRESPONSIBLE
Two per cent of Western Australia’s of orphaned gas wells leaking
The Anti-Environment Minister landmass may seem small, but it across the USA.
Steve Dawson should be sacked for is more than 5 million hectares -
Unfortunately, the scientific panel
wrecking the WA environment. nearly the size of Tasmania.
His decision to support fracking is for the WA Fracking Inquiry did
nothing short of disgraceful Coincidentally, the Apple Isle has not include any climate scientists
sensibly retained its long-term or medical experts. The report was
moratorium on the polluting based on the incorrect assumption
practice of gas fracking. The WA that the industry would be small.
policy, on closer inspection, also This goes against the fracking
doesn’t provide any safeguards to companies’ own reports. There’s no
prevent a larger area of the state doubt that gas giants are eyeing off
being fracked in the future. a big export industry.
It’s one of the many problems We needed the WA Government to
with fracking for unconventional step in and prevent this economic
gas. The industry spreads across and environmental disaster before
the landscape, needing access to it happened, and they’ve failed us.
more and more land and to build In the face of this, Lock the Gate
thousands of wells to keep the gas will continue to work alongside the
coming. And it seems there is noth- WA communities on the front lines
ing solid in place to stop them. of fracking proposals.

Yet again, the McGowan propaganda We are going to keep up the fight to
machine was in full swing last week protect water, defend farmland and
when he promised Indigenous people support traditional owners standing
and landholders the rights to veto “oil up for country.
and gas production” from fracking on The smokescreen that cloaked the
their land. Premiers announcement has now
But there’ll be no veto on exploratory been blown away by the weight of
fracking for landowners and tradi- opposition that has followed, with
tional owners and it won’t apply to unions, farmers and traditional own-
pastoral leaseholders at all. So, it’s ers busting apart the myth that there
a lot of hot air which won’t provide is any ‘balance’ in this outcome.
anyone with a right of veto on explo- The gas giants are balancing their
ration fracking which is imminent in fat profits on the global market, and
key areas. the community is left to balance
what has changed since they elect-
What’s more, the onshore gas
ed the McGowan Government. Not
industry is a low employer when
much it seems.
compared with all other industries.
Onshore oil and gas extraction Simone Hattam
Lock the Gate
employs less people per dollar of
value added than any other indus-
try, including other parts of the

T
he McGowan bowl and vast areas of the Kim- resource sector. If jobs growth was
Government’s berley are now at imminent risk the policy goal here, then invest-
propaganda machine from fracking. In fact, for the vast ment in virtually any other industry
is easier to see through majority of gas leases, it’s now full would be better.
than an invisible mist of steam ahead. The limited protec-
methane gas. Here was an oppor- The reality is that communities in
tion announced by McGowan for other states and around the world
tunity to listen to the people’s will; areas in the south and the Dampier know the litany of assurances made
23 communities across WA have Peninsula is great for those regions. by this dirty industry about how it
declared themselves gas field free. But if fracking is unsafe there, it’s will operate simply do not come
Instead, the Premier chose to create unsafe everywhere. to pass. We are most likely to face
two classes of Western Austra- cheap polluting shortcuts and a
What’s more, McGowan deliber-
lians; those who live in Perth and nasty clean-up bill. In the United
ately obfuscated the facts about States, the fracking companies
the South-West and Peel, who are
what removing the moratorium, couldn’t make money but pushed
now protected from the health and
save for a few small locations, ahead anyway. Many companies
environmental problems caused by
actually means. One must always went bankrupt. They walked away
fracking, and those who aren’t.
question when politicians start without paying debts or the clean- MUA backing Lock the Gate’s
That means that the Mid-West food talking in percentages. up bills. There are now thousands opposition to fracking in WA

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MUA WA BRANCH SPECIAL REPORT

NOPSEMA falls asleep at the wheel


while OHS offshore standards go to shit

T
he recent media exposure by the who are prepared to put greed, self-interest and the same result. Poor quality and work that
West Australian of non-compli- profit before the welfare of Australian hydrocar- doesn’t comply with Australian standards.
ant electrical work and electrical bon workers.
inspections on the Ichthys Explorer A January meeting between offshore unions
platform and nearby Ichthys Ventur-
Factors such as the outsourcing of construction (Offshore Alliance and ETU) and NOPSEMA
work to foreign shipyards and contractors, the left a lot of unanswered questions about safety
er oil production vessels has highlighted some
almost exclusive casualisation of labour among
significant OH&S problems arising from the construction and maintenance crew and the
standards on the Inpex projects. Following the
overseas construction of Australian gas plat- media coverage of serious non-compliance on
practice of sacking workers who complain about
forms and vessels. the Inpex project, we asked offshore workers to
unsafe working conditions are all key reasons
why there has been a marked deterioration in tell their story about their own experiences.
There is no doubt that the dodgy foreign elec-
trical installation and inspection regime is the offshore safety standards in recent years. This is what one member has had to say about
tip of the iceberg in the litany of major safety If you buy a Great Wall of China, you can his personal experiences in the industry. The
issues in the offshore hydrocarbon sector in WA. expect to be driving a vehicle that is a bucket of name has been redacted due to the practice of
Safety standards are another victim of the ruth- shit. Oil and gas companies who outsource their grubby bosses sacking workers who speak up
less cost-cutting by multinational gas companies labour to the cheapest foreign bidder can expect about dodgy standards.

A WORKER’S STORY
Putting profits and production before safety in the offshore hydrocarbon sector
I have been employed on several
offshore construction and com-
missioning projects, including
work on the Inpex Ichthys Ven-
turer FPSO.
All of these projects had one
thing in common - meeting tight
deadlines to put profits before the
safety of workers.
In the case of the Inpex and Pre-
lude facilities, they were rushed
out of the ship yards in South
Korea with extensive problems
through a lack of or inadequate
QA/QC inspections at and during
the construction and installation
period and the handover stage to
the clients from the ship yard.
The platforms have had to be
rushed out because of contractual
deadlines and the threat of penal- frame required to meet the calm
ties for any delay in the float over weather window required to float
and ship yard sail away dates. their projects over or to tow into
Any such delays result in heavy location before the North West
financial penalties to these cyclone season.
operators, such as the $250K US
All projects in recent years have
per day delay penalties when
made the same fatal decision; to
the DSME Wheatstone platform
take the projects as they were.
failed to meet the sail away date
from the yard. They simply rubber-stamp all
These penalties kick in if dead- outstanding check sheets - this
lines aren’t met and the con- allows the projects to get insur-
struction contractor is required ance for the sail away and tow
down - and then adopt a we will Geoje Island in South Korea:
to spend longer in the ship yard of Woodside, who were head Australian workers have to clean up
to finish the projects to specifi- fix all outstanding Issues offshore
and shoulders above the other the mess of sub-standard labour
cation. approach. standards and technical compliance
three key operators - Chevron,
In the case of Inpex, this was Probably the only exception to Shell and Inpex - and the current created by the rush to get gas
produced.
exacerbated by the tight time- this were the former management Woodside bosses.

RANK&FILE VOICE FEBRUARY 2019 29


MUA WA BRANCH SPECIAL REPORT

When Chevron aren’t standing over Australian offshore workers, they are busy destroying the lifestyle and
environment of communities in developing countries.

Chevron fails the test


Wheatstone’s headaches are well documented,
especially with their piping issues with the use of
the dreaded “Grayloc” pipe clamping system.
Due to negligence on Chevron’s own QA/QC and
not enough inspectors with the correct mechanical
piping inspection experience, most of these piping
flanges failed at pressure test and had to be pulled
apart and re-machined offshore causing delays of
over two years on start up.
While this may have been great for the bank bal-
ance of workers on the project, all of these critical
QA/QC documents were rubber-stamped by Chev-
ron in the yard prior to getting onto the project.
The N2 Helium leak pressure was tested offshore
knowing that many of these joints did not meet
specification.

The changing workplace


culture in the offshore
sector
The Inpex Ichthys Venturer FPSO was supposed
to be the ‘new Woodside’. As Woodside’s own
standards, wages and treatment of their workforce employees and some from Conoco Phillips Aus- out of the Samsung yard ASAP, get on location
dropped due to the introduction of American based tralia left and joined Inpex in South Korea for the and start producing.
ideology (yes you Don Voelte and your successor construction and operation of this project. How
Safety went out the window and the desperate
Peter Coleman), many of their most experienced they must be kicking themselves now.
push to meet KPI’s and start producing became
All seemed well at first for the new Inpex team. the sole goal of management.
Salaries were higher than what Woodside were The Inpex project was miles behind and was never
offering, with a better roster when they get opera- going to be finished by sail away date.
tional and producing.
As this deadline for delay penalties drew nearer,
Before they even produced one barrel, the global with seven days to go over 36,000-man hours
oil and gas downturn kicked in, giving Inpex an
of EHHA electrical inspections - that’s over six
excuse to instantly cut salaries.
months of work, which was signed off in seven
Inpex management then pushed to get their project days to allow sail away with the mantra we will fix
it all offshore.
Woodside have joined the likes of Chevron put
profits and self-interest before the safety and What did NOPSEMA do about this?
welfare of offshore workers.
Nothing from the look of things.

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Dodgy foreign Inpex


inspections
Once on location, the floatel Jascon 25 was placed
alongside the FPSO.
I worked on the mechanical commissioning of the
FPSO, but these lingering EEHA inspections were
well known and documented.
NOPSEMA came out in early 2017 and did a
few inspections and audits of paperwork - one of
which being check sheets on these EHHA electri-
cal items.
As it was still a construction site they had no
power to enforce these repairs, but said they could
not issue an operations certificate until they were
satisfied these inspections and any repairs had
been done.
In early 2018, the Jascon 25 had to leave as it was
not certified to be alongside a live gas platform
(i.e. it did not have EEHA rating).
Inpex then had an audit done by Kentech (as
reported in the article in the West Australian) and
when the results were given to Inpex they went
into a flat spin.
They then flooded the job with Australian EEHA
electrical inspectors/technicians to complete the
outstanding inspection and repairs.
The sail away of the Jascon 25 in January 2018
was extended to the maximum time it could stay,
which was May 2018 before Inpex envisaged all
these repairs would be completed.
This was on the understanding that NOPSEMA
would then have given them an operational cer-
tificate and they would bring on gas to make the
platform live.
I left the project in 2018, but am still in contact
with the Inpex crew who have their own challeng-
es.
At no time has anyone out there been informed
there are still outstanding issues with electrical
systems compliance.
Gas has been on this FPSO for some time now and
to do this Inpex must have been given an opera-
tional certificate by NOPSEMA or a dispensation
to operate with existing defects.
If that is the case, Inpex would have had to have
adjusted their safety case to allow this and NOP-
SEMA would have to have sanctioned it.

The Stena Clyde on fire off Broome when


contracted to Shell on the North West Shelf.
The next tour ended up on the Bass Strait with
Orgin Energy. Two workers were killed by this
outfit and NOPSEMA sat on their arse for
9 days whilst the MUA and AWU officials were
being blocked from entering the rig to investigate
the fatalities. NOPSEMA denied the crew’s
request for union representation until their joint
investigation (in the same room) with the
employer was completed. NOPSEMA are a
disgrace.

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MUA WA BRANCH SPECIAL REPORT

Main picture: Barrow Island. Inset: We don’t need a


repeat of the Veranus Island Gas Plant disaster –
NOPSEMA’s track record is nothing to be proud of.

NOPSEMA need to be held OffshOre AlliAnce


accountable Multinational oil and gas
There is something very wrong in the offshore oil companies have an appalling
and gas Industry in Australia.
track record of exploiting
With the loss of companies such as Transfield
Worley/Woodside Alliance and the likes of Mon- workers in developing
adelphous getting all the offshore maintenance on How did they get permission to do this? countries, breaching
Woodside, Prelude, Inpex (Monadelphous FFS).
How long are they going to continue to do this? environmental standards and
There is going to be a big bang out there and it When do they envisage they will have the rein- destroying local communities.
seems to be the only way we will ever get these jection process to return these toxic hydrocarbons
overseas imposters to wake up that they are not in underground? When it comes to the
the Gulf of Mexico or offshore Nigeria and need
to comply with the regulations of the countries
The flaring system on Barrow is to your conven- construction of offshore
tional flare hundreds of meters up above the plant
they are operating in. platforms overseas that will
it is at ground level. With prevailing winds, is this
It is terrible that our industry has gone backwards being blown back over the plant and its work- be working on the Australian
so far and so quickly. force? coast, they should ensure that
If we can get NOPSEMA out there doing their job Is Chevron doing monitoring of the working the trade work is done by
and carrying out inspections at Inpex and Prelude, atmosphere in and around the plant and accom-
they need to bring along independent “EEHA” modation village? Has it randomly taken blood
Australian labour being paid
qualified inspectors who are able to randomly samples from its workforce and contractors to Australian wages and
inspect any junction box/ motor termination / field establish a base level and monitor any increase of conditions and performing
installation they wish to drag out of the comple- toxins in its workforce?
tions database - not just the ones Inpex or Shell work to Australian
Where is our State Environmental Minister Steve
want them to see. standards.
Dawson on all this? Has he been part of the pro-
This way it will be a transparent and open audit, cess to allow Chevron to do this?
not another flick and tick exercise.
if you pay $2 per hour, you
The state of the ozone layer above Australia is are going to pay the price
While they are at it, they could also step on Bar- well documented. We don’t need oil and gas com-
row Island and try and get some explanation as panies adding to this. for short-sighted exploitative
to why Chevron continues to pump thousands of work practices.
The whole industry needs to be dragged back into
tonnes of toxic hydrocarbons into the atmosphere
line. Safety and procedures are going out the win-
as their reinjection process to return these back Oil and Gas platforms
dow for greed and even more profit to overseas
into the underground formations is not working
yet (and word in engineering circles is it never
shareholders while the rest of us in Australia are coming onto our coast should
left with the consequences. be built by Australian labour.
will with the production rates going through the
plant at present). It is a total disgrace.

32 RANK&FILE VOICE FEBRUARY 2019


MUA WA BRANCH

TRANSDEV Perth bus drivers


Tim Dawson
TWU WA Branch Secretary
fight for secure
employment
T
ransdev bus drivers from
Perth have been taking
industrial action since
October 2018. Drivers
are fighting for respect,
job security, a decent wage and pari-
ty with other bus drivers in Perth.
Transdev is a French multi-nation-
al company profiting $10 billion
worldwide and $36 million in
Australasia.
In Perth they hold contracts with
the WA State Government that
extend for the next nine years and
have 42% of all State Government
bus contracts.
Before the Labor Government was
elected, then Shadow Minister Rita
Saffiotti made commitments that she
would make bus drivers safe at work.
to intervene. Again, there was no
The TWU campaigned for Labor response.
on this promise. Yet the Govern-
ment has done nothing to support Transdev took lock-out action
these workers. against bus drivers and stood them
down for 48 hours.
Even to this day, nothing has been
done. In fact, an article published Again, there was no response.
on Perth Now on 18 November A response did come from the
2018, reported that over the last Government, 30 minutes after a
12 months on the bus network,
planned 4-hour work stoppage that
altercations have increased by 50%,
would have disrupted bus services
anti-social behaviour 22%, and
to the Taylor Swift concert was election. Since then, Minister Saf- backseat thinking that it’ll work out
dangerous behaviour 16%, just to
withdrawn. fiotti has met with drivers on two without Government intervention.
name a few.
Drivers were sympathetic to the occasions. Once after the Taylor
In that article, the PTA said antiso- This Government has even extend-
families who saved for tickets; Swift concert and a second time
cial behaviour and violence was a ed the Transdev held contract of
sympathetic to the kids who were after bus drivers rallied outside
societal issue, not a public trans- Joondalup for the 3rd time, sup-
Dumas House.
port issue. attending a once in a lifetime porting an unethical company and
opportunity and withdrew the On both occasions the Government reducing the leverage of working
Minister Saffiotti said that Tran- action on a promise that the deceived the drivers and led them people; which is a shame, especial-
sperth has undertaken further Government would come to the to believe there would be some- ly when strong Labor governments
driver safety protection training, table with a swift outcome. thing in it for them. in QLD and Victoria, have re-
passenger de-escalation training cently supported their bus drivers,
and upgraded on-board CCTV. But instead of the government So far, that has not been the case.
intervening to resolve the dispute, including Transdev drivers, in their
TWU Bus Drivers will continue
This is false! we got Premier McGowan posting struggle for parity.
to apply the pressure. Bus drivers
TWU members spoke to Minister a video of himself playing a Taylor have sent hundreds of individual They held true to their Labor
Saffiotti about equal conditions for Swift record and encouraging peo- e-mails to the Government and de- values of unionism and supporting
all WA bus drivers 12 months ago, ple to plan their travel via livered the petition with thousands working families.
but they received no response. Transperth website. of signatures to them.
It is time that our WA State Labor
Five months ago they met with This was a slap in the face to 1000 Transport Minister Rita Saffiotti Government does the same for
Saffioti’s staff to tell them that Transdev drivers who supported needs to step in to resolve this long its bus drivers in WA and for all
industrial action was imminent and this Government in the last running dispute and not take a blue-collar workers.

RANK&FILE VOICE FEBRUARY 2019 33


MUA WA BRANCH

Mick Buchan
State Secretary
CFMEU

Salini’s contract
on the lives of
West Australians
F
or almost two years
the CFMEU has been
voicing concerns over
the State Government’s
Forrestfield Airport Link
project being built by the Italian
Multinational Salini Impreglio.
Salini put in a quote for the job that by the fact that workers are being
was almost half a billion dollars moved to other sites or shown the
below the Barnett Government’s door in response to raising poten-
own cost estimate. Our fear was tially fatal safety issues. And work-
that it would be gouged out of ers have been physically threatened
worker’s wages, basic safety and for taking and sharing photos of
build quality. unsafe conditions.
Every one of those fears have now This is a mind-boggling failure of
been fully realised. the Australian workplace safety
Salini imported overseas teams of laws. When workers are being
workers who are isolated from con- sacked and threatened for speaking
tact and denied the CFMEU right up about safety, then the laws that
of entry to inspect safety in the are supposed to keep workplaces
tunnels or represent these workers. safe are broken beyond any com-
prehension.
They set up a sham agreement and
got three workers to vote it up It’s the type of thing you’d expect
before work on the project had in a third-world country where
even begun and then applied it to governments turn a blind eye to the
every worker on the job for the exploitation of their own citizens.
duration of the project. Seriously, It’s certainly not a circumstance
three workers. that should ever exist here in
Western Australia - ever.
We’ve had engineers tell us the
project was never properly engi- The McGowan Government’s
neered from the start. We’ve had response is they have no ability
workers come to us to report seri- to intervene due to contractual
ous environmental failures. We’ve arrangements. This means one of
been told the build quality is so bad two things:
that it will leave the West Austra-
It could be bullshit and the State
lian taxpayer with a remediation
Government is just abdicating its
bill that could run into the billions.
responsibility to provide a safe
tigating and verifying if Australian Either way, the most basic systems
And we’ve had two near fatal workplace. That would be a piss
safety and industrial standards are that are supposed to protect the
injuries and a constant stream of poor failure of governance. But the
being met, and prohibits it from life, safety, and dignity of West
safety failures that defy belief, alternative is worse.
independently inspecting the build
such as workers paddling a dinghy Australian workers are broken. And
The State Government has a quality on its own project to ensure
through the flooded tunnel to work our own Government is complicit
contract with a builder that legally the tunnel is actually being built to
on electrics. in the blatant exploitation of West
prohibits it from insisting on a safe specification and is fit for purpose.
All these issues are made worse workplace, prohibits it from inves- That possibility is truly frightening. Australian workers.

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We’re here demanding fairness


C
omrades, as the Branch secretary We certainly were not naive. RTBU members leadership why isn’t part of that surplus being
of the Rail, Tram and Bus Union understood that the McGowan Government earmarked for providing state workers decent
(RTBU), one of my objectives is to inherited a disastrous financial deficit from the wage increases?
ensure that our union membership Liberals. We accepted that financial prudence
has its voice heard, not only with would be the order of the day to turn around the As a union movement, we should be sitting at
the employers we deal with every day, but just previous mob’s mismanagement of the economy the table demanding fairness for our members -
as importantly, with our political leaders who and return the State coffers to surplus. not begging for favours.
formulate and implement policies at State and In unity
Yet now nearly two years on, the expectation
Federal levels.
that the State Government could end up with as Joshua Dekuyer
On occasion, this requires a frank and robust much as a reported $1 billion at its disposal, has Branch secretary - The Australian Rail, Tram
conversation with those political office bearers given rise to many of us questioning the Labor and Bus Industry Union of Employees
whose decisions shape our working lives and
living conditions daily.
It goes without saying that the RTBU member-
ship and that of our brothers and sisters in the
wider union movement held out great hopes for
a better deal to be delivered by a Labor Govern-
ment that was brought to power on the back of
a landslide victory born from the hard work and
commitment of thousands of unionists.
We voted for change and expected change, but
what we did not expect was that a Labor
Government would impose a state wages policy
that fell well short of that of the previous Liberal
regime.
As it currently stands, the paltry $1000 (per
year) capped pay increase hardly scratches the
surface for hard-pressed working families in
WA. To put the $1000 into perspective, it means
approximately $19.20 a week (before tax), which
is hardly enough to take your partner for lunch!

“Cheapest
is best” is
Construction starts on the Inner City School, a State Government project:
Built by one of Perth’s worst builders, with no union EBA, shit compliance and
dodgy industrial standards. What a f**n disgrace and what a waste of WA

not best
taxpayer’s hard-earned money.

F
or the past decade, the union workers across the country, the contract to Ventia Smart. The ultimate shame is that most of
ETU has negotiated an none of whom were electricians our previous EBAs for this contract
In response, we shamed the Gov-
EBA for its members and none of whom would be work- were negotiated under the Barnett
ernment on social media, at ALP
servicing and maintain- ing on this new contract. Adding Liberal Government.
meetings (supported by the MUA)
ing the state’s traffic insult to injury, this sham EBA and mobilised members against We call on this ALP Government
lights and signals. undercut the wages and conditions them, ultimately starving the new to abandon the discredited neo-lib
When Main Roads put the contract of our agreement by 25 per cent. company of enough of our mem- economic model of ‘cheapest is
out to tender, we thought we’d be We met with Transport Minister bers labour until they had to negoti- best’, stop using the Coalitions
ok, given the fact that we had a Rita Saffioti and called on her to do ate with us a make-up allowance to broken rules to reduce your budget
state Labor Government in place the right thing by the current work- entice them over. deficit and allow unions to negoti-
and the hard yards that unions and force. We argued that these were ate decent wages and conditions for
But this small win should not mask
its members had done in getting skilled workers who’d been trained workers on state funded projects -
what an ALP Government has done
them elected. you know, like you promised at the
over the years with taxpayer money here. To cut their budget deficit
and were the only ones capable of last election. Failing to do so will
However a new company called they’ve used the Federal Govern-
doing this work. They shouldn’t be lose those unions and its members
Ventia Smart was in the running for ment’s broken laws to allow a new
forced to do the same work for the and result in another one-term
the contract and had recently regis- company to sidestep any form of
Labor Government.
tered a new EBA using the Federal same Government dept for 25 per union representation, and undercut
Coalition Govnment’s broken IR cent less pay. The response was ex- wages and conditions of a union- Peter Carter
legislation, negotiated with non- cuse after excuse and they awarded ised workforce under a union EBA. ETU WA State secretary

RANK&FILE VOICE FEBRUARY 2019 35


MUA WA BRANCH

International seafarers solidarity


shown by ITF & MUA members
I
get a lot of questions that Australian seafarers, the
about seafarers who are welfare committee and the ITF
injured, or die at Sea, were there for him.
such as what happens to
Due to the extent of his con-
them? I can report that
dition, we are in discussion
we have established several
welfare committees around with the ship management and
Australia for this sole purpose, agents to have his family flown
Report by and accommodated in Perth
as recommended by the Mari-
time Labour Convention 2006.
KEITH McCORRISTON during his recovery period.
ITF INSPECTOR
With 30,000-plus merchant I would like to thank John and
ships trading around the world, 0422 014 861 Darren for their dedication and
we regularly get reports of keith.mccorriston@mua.org.au follow-up to assist the seafarer
injury and death at sea. Most in need. It’s truly a great spirit
The international solidarity by shown by MUA members/
foreign seafarers do anything
seafarers is amazing. Australian seafarers.
from 6 to 11 months at sea
away from their families. I was recently advised of a As we move into 2019, the ITF
Chinese seafarer who had a inspectorate will no doubt be
When a seafarer loses his life,
serious leg injury and was out and around chasing up sea-
or is injured at sea, it’s a huge
transferred to Cocos Island. farer’s complaints and prob-
worry for their immediate
The MUA members on board
family and friends. lems. The ITF inspectorate has
the M/V Ocean Protector rang
a network of 140 inspectors
Can you imagine losing a me to see how the ITF could
and contacts based in 125 ports
son or daughter at sea, or in a assist.
within 57 countries throughout
foreign country? There is noth-
Apparently, the seafarer was the world.
ing more devastating for any
on board the bulk carrier M/V
family and something none of In November 2018, 848
CSB Prosperity en-route to
us want to experience. inspections were conducted,
China, when the seafarer fell in
and $2,089,531 USD was
In Fremantle, the welfare the engine room and suffered a
recovered in stolen wages.
committee is represented by broken leg, broken ribs and a
the ITF, AMSA, Port Contacts, serious back injury. It’s not always about recov-
Fremantle Port Authority, Bor- ering wages. We continue
The seafarer was flown to
der Force, Mission to Seafar- to get text messages, phone
Royal Perth Hospital and had
ers, Stellar Maris, ships agents, calls about lack of provisions,
an operation on his broken
local councilors and more. overtime hours not recorded
leg. He spent a few weeks in
Once we are advised of an hospital and one day he was properly, expired contracts,
accident or incident, it’s the discharged. No one knew shore leave, breaches of the
seafarer’s wellbeing and where he went. MLC 2006 etc.
welfare that is our concern. History and well documented
After several phone calls, we
Over the years, many seafarers understand a contact from proof shows the ITF FOC
have been injured and repa- the Chinese community had campaign has been very
triated as soon as possible by offered to look after him at his successful in protecting
some ship owners. They get family home as the seafarer seafarers’ rights.
sent home and many times spoke very little English and So, what about those vessels
they don’t have access to needed an interpreter. not covered by ITF approved
proper hospital or medical Collective Bargaining Agree-
MUA members John Owen,
care. There have been many ments?
Darren Robinson and I visited
reports over the years of
the seafarer and can report he These vessels usually mean
seafarers being abandoned and
is coming along fine, however low wages, long hours of
having no medical assistance.
it’s very possible the seafarer work, low overtime rates,
I can report that we have seen will require more operations limited insurance on death and
changes to these old days, due to and will be in Perth for another
injury to name a few.
the MLC 2006 implementation. six months.
I would like to thank all those
Australian doctors generally He was presented with a large
port contacts and delegates that
won’t medically clear seafarers fruit platter and a donation
continue to support seafarers
unless they are confident they from the MUA members off
in need. I wish you all the best
will get the appropriate medical the M/V Ocean Protector. The
in 2019.
service and follow-up in their Chinese seafarer was abso-
home country. lutely taken aback, knowing www.itfseafarers.org

36 RANK&FILE VOICE FEBRUARY 2019


WORKERS COMPENSATION

Hurt at work?
There has been a heap of members with issues relating to workers comp lately.
The branch has arranged for Slater and Gordon to put together an information pack for land-based
workers which we have been getting around sites and is available in the branch.
Here are the key points you need to know about your rights around workers compensation and you
should always exercise these rights.

1
Always notify the company in writing when
you have an incident, even if it’s a minor
injury/strain, in case it flares up later.

2
You should always go to your own doctor
first, so you can have control of your case.
Your doctor is more likely to care about you
than a company doctor would.

3
You should not tick the box on the
compensation form to provide your
medical history to the company. Your
personal medical history should stay personal.

4
You should never let management attend
your medicals. That is a private
appointment between you and your doctor.

5
You have a right to appoint your own
rehabilitation provider when your doctor
puts you on restricted hours/duties. The
branch recommends Freshstart Injury Management. Call the branch on 9335 0500 for a referral.

6
Where legal advice is required, the branch recommends Slater and Gordon. Call the branch on
9335 0500 for a referral.

If, at any stage, you are unsure, call your organiser.


Adrian Evans
MUA WA BRANCH

PURSUING A SEA CARE CLAIM


M
any seafarers are being discour- ing the determination.
aged from lodging a claim for
• make your request in writing and set out the reasons
workers compensation and this can
for asking for the determination to be reconsidered.
be very damaging, not only to your
existing injury but also your future. Your employer has sixty (60) days to reconsider its
determination and issue a reconsidered decision to
Pursuing workers compensation can be overwhelm-
you by the 60th day.
ing and stressful. If you have been injured, getting
the right information is vital to ensure you are able to Your employer can request further information or
take care of yourself and your family. documentation from you pursuant to section 79(2) of
If you’re a seafarer or an offshore worker and you’ve the Act. That 60 day period will be extended by the
injured yourself at work, you may be covered by number of days from the time the request is made, to
Seacare (Seafarers Rehabilitation & Compensation receiving said information/documentation from you.
Australian seafarers work in tough conditions. It
Act 1992 (the Act)) for your workers compensation. is important that seafarers know their rights if they Your employer may require you to undergo an exam-
MAKING A CLAIM get injured at work. Slater and Gordon have lawyers ination and obtain a report by a medical practitioner.
who specialise in workers comp, including sea care. The 60 day period will be extended by the number
To make a claim under the Act: Contact the Branch if you need legal advice. of days it takes to receive the report from the date of
• report your incident/injury as soon as practicable. request (s79(3)).
your claim has been accepted. In order to substantiate
• seek medical treatment. your claim for these incapacity payments, you must If a reconsideration is unsuccessful and/or no recon-
• call your union. ensure that you continue to obtain ongoing medical sidered decision is received, an application to review
certificates, assessing your incapacity to work. the decision at the Administrative Appeals Tribunal
• complete the Seacare Claim Form in full and sign
must be lodged within 60 days from the date of that
the authorisation, declaration and acknowledgement It is important that you obtain these certificates on a
as soon as practicable. frequent basis and in accordance with your doctors decision.
• obtain a First Medical Certificate from your own recommendations. It is recommended that you have COMPENSATION FOR INCAPACITY FOR WORK, THE LOSS
GP. You are entitled to choose your own treating your incapacity assessed every four (4) weeks. OR DAMAGE OF PROPERTY, OR THE COST OF MEDICAL
medical professionals. You do not have to use your
Employer’s GP. • Compensation is payable for the first 45 weeks of TREATMENT RECEIVED
incapacity after the date on which the worker is left
• take a copy of both the Seacare Claim Form and on shore at, or returned to, his or her proper port. If you have lodged a claim for incapacity for work
the First Medical Certificate for your records and (which is the most common type of claim) and a
submit the original Seacare Claim Form and the • After this time period, incapacity is capped between decision is not made within the specified twelve (12)
First Medical Certificate to your employer, who will 75 percent and 100 per cent of normal weekly
earnings depending on how many hours a week the days, an employer is taken to have made the decision
then forward a copy of your claim form and relevant
attachments to the Seacare Authority. employee works. to deny the claim.

Relevant forms can be found at your employer, Incapacity payments after 45 weeks are determined If a claim has been denied and you wish to challenge
union, the Seacare Authority and online: https:// according to a formula. the decision, I refer you to the process referred to
www.seacare.gov.au/forms_and_publications/forms/ above under the subheading Reconsideration.
If you have concerns about your current rate of pay
Compensation_forms under your Seacare claim, contact your union for a COMPENSATION FOR PERMANENT IMPAIRMENT:
WHEN YOU CAN CLAIM: referral to Slater and Gordon. In the event you have suffered from a degree of per-
As a rule you can claim for physical and or psycho- DETERMINATION manent impairment, you may be eligible to explore a
logical injuries while: claim for permanent impairment and non-economic
For Seacare claims it is the employer, not an insurer, loss.
• on board a vessel on which you were employed; or who decides whether they should accept the claim.
Legislation requires an employer to make a determi- In order to be eligible for such an application, the
• temporarily absent from that vessel on an ordinary nation within: following will be considered:
break in your employment; or
• twelve (12) days of receiving the claim, where a 1. Whether you have an impairment
• travelling between your place of residence and claim is made for compensation for incapacity for
2. That your impairment is permanent
workplace; or work, the loss or damage of property, or the cost of
medical treatment received (s73 of the Act); 3. You have been assessed in accordance with the
• undergoing a required training course. Comcare Guides;
• thirty (30) days of receiving the claim, where a
WHAT YOU CAN CLAIM FOR: claim is made for compensation for permanent im- 4. The degree of your impairment meets the thresh-
pairment (s73A of the Act); or olds for compensation
• medical treatment and related expenses
• sixty (60) days of receiving the claim, where a 5. Whether you have been paid a previous lump sum
• loss of earnings where a seafarer is incapacitated claim is made for compensation relating to the death benefit for permanent impairment.
for work of an employee (s72 of the Act).
Thresholds
• permanent impairment *Your Employer can make a request for an extension
of time if they require additional time to make a In order to be eligible to make a claim for permanent
• non-economic loss ie pain and suffering. impairment or non-economic loss, the following
decision.
• household and care services threshold’s apply to your level of impairment:
RECONSIDERATION
• death benefits 1. Most compensable injuries – 10% Whole Person
If a claim has been declined and you wish to chal- Impairment; or
• funeral expenses lenge the decision, you must:
2. Loss of Finger, Toes, Sense of Taste or Smell – No
INCAPACITY PAYMENTS • request to have the determination reconsidered. threshold.
Incapacity payments will be made where liability of • make said request within thirty (30) days of receiv- CONTINUED NEXT PAGE

RANK&FILE VOICE FEBRUARY 2019 38


SEA CARE’S MENTAL HEALTH WORKSHOP
RANK & FILE REPORTS

Mental health @ sea


Tackling mental health issues in the seafaring industry
Managing TOXIC WORKPLACES TAKE TOLL
fatigue BY VICKY HELPS People with declining mental health may not be
willing to seek help through official employer
The findings from studies undertaken by AMSA provided processes. Mental health issues are
and UWA show that one of the primary factors often stigmatised and like illness and injury
BY CATHERINE SHARDLOW impacting on the mental health of international generally, workers often have concerns about
On the November 20, 2018 at the seafarers is the unpredictability of seafaring ongoing employment if they openly seek help.
Esplanade Hotel, Fremantle, I attended work. People who are suffering may often turn to a
the Seacare Authority Mental Health
These findings, among other reports from a shipmate for support.
Workshop. As we know, anxiety, fatigue,
variety of experts, were shared at a mental For people supporting those experiencing a
stress and depression play a huge role
in our industry and as a result we have health workshop facilitated by Sea Care recently. decline in mental health listening with empa-
large number of suicides. In the coming months, that same study will be thy, compassion and without judgment is the
applied to the Australian context. I have no normal and prescribed first, and often ongoing,
Out of the AMSA Mental Health Survey,
doubt the findings will be very similar. response. Should a person need further assis-
fatigue was identified as being one of the tance other than that offered on board,
main concerns raised by our members. For caterers, the ongoing downward pressure Hunterlink provides support services to
How do we properly manage fatigue on manning benchmarks, the flooding of local maritime workers and their families.
contracts with non-union workers and the
with 12-hour days and long rosters? It The obvious strategies with dealing with men-
aggressive and anti-union strategies by the
got me thinking - how do I manage my tal health issues are those that improve health
likes of companies such as Sodexo, have taken
fatigue? generally. Eat and sleep well, exercise regular-
their toll on union workers.
I believe companies should start to ly, try to get a moderate amount of sunshine
look at mental health and we should Unreasonable workloads, lower rates of pay, daily and maintain healthy social interaction
look at having a Medic on board more the erosion of conditions and the daily struggle with shipmates.
of our vessels. to organise in an anti-union workplace press More specifically, encourage the person to con-
heavily. Along with the absence of any oppor- tact Hunterlink directly. This can be done by
Mental health and physical health go
tunity for permanent employment and punitive telephone or email. If a person is feeling unable
hand in hand and just because you can’t
onboard and managerial responses to union to make contact, permission can be sought
see it, as you would a body injury, it
activism, create toxic workplaces. from the person to enable you to provide Hunt-
doesn’t mean it should be treated any
less. Toxic workplaces make for fertile ground for erlink with their contact details. Hunterlink
the growth of bullying and harassment, stress will then initiate contact.
There are times where we don’t have
access to internet connection and a and disharmony and contribute to declining The goal is and always will be to keep ourselves
lack of services to help those in need. I levels of mental health across maritime work- and each other safe at work. In an industry
believe if we had counselors or Active places. Mental health issues and illness are on that is becoming increasingly unpredictable,
Life Coaches on board each contract, the rise across the industry and often a person it is incumbent on each of us to work towards
we would see a lot less of our com- will turn to another crew member they trust making our workplaces places where people
rades gone. for support. can thrive

FROM PREVIOUS PAGE You may be entitled to other forms of compensation attend provided you have capacity, you must attend.
to assist with cash flow during this period.
If you have lodged a claim for permanent impair- If you are concerned about your rehabilitation pro-
ment and a decision is not made within the specified It’s recommended you speak with a relevant pro- gram or process, contact your union.
thirty (30) days, an Employer is taken to have made fessional at your earliest opportunity to ensure your
a decision to decline the claim. insurances are appropriate for you. Getting the right advice from the beginning of your
claim can provide advantages that may be lost if the
If a claim has been denied and you wish to RETURNING TO WORK
claim is incorrectly managed despite how genuine
challenge the decision, I refer you to the process Your employer has an obligation to assist you in and severe your claim is. Ensure you’re armed with
referred to above under the subheading “Reconsid- rehabilitation to return you to work safely. Your re-
the right information to empower yourself to make
eration”. habilitation may involve vocational rehabilitation or
retaining for an alternative discipline if applicable. the best decision for your present condition and
Reviewing a Decision at the Administrative Appeals your future.
Tribunal (AAT) The AAT process generally takes You don’t have the right to choose your own reha-
between nine (9) to twelve (12) months from the bilitation provider, as a Comcare approved provider Call your union and get a referral to Slater and
date of making an application. is appointed for you by your employer. You must Gordon, we can help you.
MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES OUT OF SEEKING HELP
CONTROL IN THE PILBARA
BY JEFF CASSAR Big companies in WA have a
IS NOT HARD
license to rape and pillage with BY VIKING in the room. For example, using
Recent revelations in the media “substance use”, instead of “ice
impunity (even though most of
related to suicide rates amongst On November 20, 2018, I addiction”, or “alcoholism” is
them don’t even pay tax) based on
workers in the Pilbara just high- attended a mental health work- important to avoid belittling an
the flimsy premise that we need
light what we’ve been saying for shop that was hosted by Sea Care. already struggling mentality.
them because they employ West
years about the critical need for AMSA spoke about surveys con-
Australians. If we want to see a positive change
employers to factor in adequate ducted on ships that come in and
downtime when formulating The real truth is that if they were out of Australia. in the mental health scene, we need
rosters. brought to heel and decided to just to be solution focused, and create
In my opinion, the snapshot that
walk away and leave our shores a platform for which our brothers
This union has been vilified it provided in relation to our Aus-
(this would never actually happen and sisters can be provided with
previously in the press for seeking tralian seafarers, did not provide
but while we’re dreaming…..), the assistance that they need.
equal-time rosters purely because a true picture of the mental health
it contradicted the narrative being there would be a line of other problems faced by seafarers, as Christy Cain also addressed the
spouted by the top end of town multi-nationals ready and waiting only a very small percentage were room with the usual passion that
employers. There is a prevalent for the opportunity to take their involved in the survey. we know of him.
tendency among the media in place even if it meant they had to
comply with actual limitations. Hunterlink touched on a range of He made it very clear to the em-
Western Australia to just accept ployers that the 150,000 members
mental health benefits; from simple
anything that one of these big com- It’s time to stop bowing to these of the new and powerful CFMEU
steps to avoid fatigue, including
panies says as being gospel truth. false gods and make them ac- / MUA alliance will not stand for
getting sufficient sleep, staying hy-
But it doesn’t stop at the media. countable like the rest of us! drated, eating the right foods, and our members dying at work.
State Labor, you need to break just taking a moment to stop your
Both Liberal and Labor state Kill a worker and go to jail.
ranks with the Liberal Party, cre- mind and breathe.
governments treat companies like
That message, and the notion that
Woodside, Inpex, FMG, Shell, ate a separate agenda, start to rep- Early intervention and knowing
it’s time for employers to start
Rio Tinto, Alcoa and BHP etc. resent the interests of constituents how to help your work mate if you
putting their workforce in a priority
like divine entities and constant- and stay in government; instead see they are struggling, is not as
seat, rang loud and clear.
ly exaggerate the value of these of kowtowing to corporations in hard as you might think.
parasitic corporations to the state the hope that they might repay the What was presented, about some of
Asking that person if you can pass
of WA. They turn a blind eye and favour one day and toss you a job the mental health issues were real.
on their number to Hunterlink and
let them do as they please. after you’re voted out! They were raw.
have Hunterlink contact them, rath-

Issues aplenty
er than just handing them a card It was horrible and painful to hear.
with the number on it, will result So, I ask you: can we do more? We
in nine out of 10 people getting must stand in unity and look out
BY TIM O’CALLAGHAN • lack of communication with home the help they need. In comparison, for each other. Our mothers and
(phone and internet) if you leave it to the stressed-out fathers, our brothers and sisters,
The Fremantle Doctor was in full person to call, nine out of 10 will our friends, and ourselves.
effect as industry representatives and • job insecurity / lack of on-going
NOT make that call.
MUA rank and filers filled the room work Well Comrades, that’s my take on
to find solutions to sea fares mental • bullying / harassment Hunterlink also touched on; de- the day; a good starting point for all
health issues. • failure to report problems on board pression, anxiety, workplace issues, parties. There is more to be done but
for fear of being put off. relationships and the language we working together we can make a dif-
Representatives from Sea Care, should use to address the elephant ference. STAY SAFE OUT THERE.
AMSA, MUA, Hunterlink, METL, While the above issues were deemed
plus HR reps from most of the bigger to be some of the contributing fac-
vessel operators, and leading mental tors at sea, there were other issues
health which effected members out of work
professionals attended Sea Care’s including their inability to afford to
Mental Health Workshop to hear revalidate certs/quals, their difficulty
speeches from key note speakers. in finding opportunities to retrain and
As issues were identified one by adapt to the decline and mortgage
one, it became transparent that the stress, poverty and bankruptcy.
factors were both interconnected and Sea Care is seeking proposals and
extremely complex; new initiatives to enhance mental
Key problems identified included; health at sea and at home. All mem-
• long swings/ fatigue bers are welcome to contribute to this.
• long duty hours/undermanning of Comrades, if you are doing well,
vessels & sleep deprivation reach out to the ones that are strug-
• isolation on board gling.
• the effects of injury or death on If you are not OK, reach out for help
coworkers and talk to someone now. You are not
• substance use alone!
MUA WA BRANCH VETERAN’S REPORT

190 VETS
DANCED
AWAY
2018
ets, firstly, on behalf of myself December at the East Fremantle Football I would like to give a big thank you to the

V and Jed we would like to wish


you all a very happy new year.
Another year and like all of us
we are getting older.
We are losing our regular vets who supported
all our venues to the end.
Club, about 190 attended.
I personally went around to all of the tables
with application forms to join the Veterans.
Only one member accepted my form.
It would be a great help if we could gather
crews of Geo Coral and the Naila for their
kind donations.
I have purchased another gopher for our vets.
Thanks again John Mears and Illya Smith.
We now have four gophers, two wheelchairs,
two walking aids and one large walking stick.
more members to join the Veterans Associa-
Last year we lost Ronnie Bryan, Michael tion. I have sent out 75 application forms for 2019
Regan, Donald Starr, Chris O’Sullivan, Rod and so far, but have only received 34 back.
We have had a change to the Life Members
Hankinson, William Police, Francis Kallen- Let’s hope we receive some more shortly.
turn out; we will require all members to show
berg and Colin Farrelly to name a few.
genuine credentials by wearing their life Kind regards, Jimmy Donnelly
At the Christmas Life Members turnout in member badge. Veterans’ secretary

Thanks to the crew of the GEO Cora,


who have donated to the Vets

RANK&FILE VOICE FEBRUARY 2019 41


MUA WA BRANCH WOMEN’S REPORT

Dinner
Julia
with

O
n August 29, 2018, at the Aloft Hotel Perth in River-
dale, I was given the opportunity to be a part of a fund-
raiser for Hannah Beazley ALP, the candidate running
for Swan. The guest speaker was the first female Prime
Minster of Australia, Julia Gillard.
I was lucky enough to be seated right next to Hannah Beazley. We
spoke of family, the education system, health and working in a
male-dominated industry. Hannah is a very strong, intellectual and
charismatic woman.
As Julia was giving her speech, I couldn’t help but admire how
clear spoken she was and how engaged the entire room was. Since
watching her rip into Tony Abbott in her misogyny speech, there was
already a level of established respect. Julia spoke of her position, as
Chair of Beyond Blue, a non-for-profit mental health organisation,
women in leadership - scholarship program - and the global partner-
ship for Education.
My night was going great. Conversations flowed, plenty of laughs
and great food and beverages followed. I felt completely spoiled. I
ABOVE: Singapore Congress Ruth headed home at 10:30pm although we were meant to wrap up at 9pm.
Blakely RMTU and Mary Prout; Thank you to my union for giving me such an amazing experience.
and RIGHT Maryati (Indonesia) IU
and Mary Prout. Catherine Shardlow

42 RANK&FILE VOICE FEBRUARY 2019


MUA WA BRANCH FROM THE MEMBERS

PORT = JOBS = HISTORY


MUA WA members and supports have
Fremantle Port
been busy on social media, having their
say on some big issues.
Here are a few of their posts:

OUTER HARBOUR

FRACKING

RANK&FILE VOICE FEBRUARY 2019 43


MUA WA BRANCH FROM THE MEMBERS

CRUISE SHIPS

44 RANK&FILE VOICE FEBRUARY 2019


MUA WA BRANCH FROM THE MEMBERS

CHRISTY STICKS IT TO PREMIER MARK MCGOWAN AND


ANTI-ENVIRONMENT MINISTER STEVE DAWSON

INDUSTRIAL MANSLAUGHTER

RANK&FILE VOICE FEBRUARY 2019 45


MUA WA BRANCH MUA IN PARLIAMENT

2019 FEDERAL ELECTION

Time to throw out LNP


ere we go! Finally, we duced the ABCC and attacked The waterfront has been fighting your vote counts. Under a Labor

H are at that time in the


election cycle of the
Federal Parliament
where we get to choose our next
Government.
construction workers for standing
up against bastard employers. All
the while construction workers are
dying on the job from a piss-poor
safety culture. Employers are given
hard to maintain its push on safety
while ports are being sold off for
a buck in the NT China took the
spoils.
I love being a member of the MUA,
Government we will have the
power to restore and work towards
rebuilding our industry along with
other great albeit disappearing
Australian industries.
I imagine that many members are free passes, with no regulation in and since becoming a member 10 If we don’t unite and get out there
feeling like I have been over the the labour hire industry leading to years ago I have felt privileged to and fight for the WA Labor Party
last six years under this disgusting mass increases in the exploitation be part of the strongest union in by making the calls, knocking on
Liberal/National (so called) Gov- of casual employees. Australia and our industrial, social the doors and engaging with the
ernment. It is sickening to think and political outcomes prove that. everyday Aussies who has been
Under Tony Rabbot, Malcom Turd-
that many of the true Australian ball or Scott Morman Morrison, Most of all the membership in this forgotten by the Liberals… we
rights our forefathers fought for the Maritime industry has suffered great union never shies away from could see another term under the
have been attacked and they have telling you how it is. They don’t Liberals.
and suffered greatly. We have been
tried to gag your right to union hold back, which is one of the rea-
belted pillar to post in attempts to Ask how you can help out at the
representation. sons why I feel we are so strong.
further demolish Australian Seafar- next stop work meeting, or call the
The current government reintro- ers sailing in Australian waters. Members, your opinion counts and Branch to find fight for our future.

Anthea Cutter, Kyle McGinn MLC


and Rita Cutter - Wiluna, WA

WA LABOR FIGHTING FOR Colin Barnett State Government, that streamline indigenous em- indigenous employment.
ABORIGINAL AMPLOYMENT we did not see any real change in ployment... And not just the token
A prime example of this is the
supporting our first nation people, casual role, but actual business
Our first nation brothers and sis- state barrier fence being rebuilt
particularly in employment and opportunities and contracts.
ters have been let down time and training. to stop the wild dogs from taking
time again by Governments in this We have seen the Minister for over farming country.
Country. In WA, we would remember Aboriginal Affairs make it manda-
Barnett tried to close Aboriginal The first rollout saw Aboriginal
tory on all State projects that there
As usual, the MUA has led by communities without offering any contractors secure the work in
will be minimum 1% indigenous
example in the maritime industry assistance, to relocate or and give the Goldfields and the Murchison
content, increasing a per cent each
by ensuring equality and oppor- no attempts to support them. Region. These are great outcomes
year. Also, the development com-
tunities for Aboriginals when for the locals in them areas.
Since getting into Parliament, the missions in the regions have been
employers have neglected their
McGowan Government has been shifting their focus under Min- Together, with the Government, I
responsibilities.
strong on the issue, proactively ister MacTiernan to ensure local will continue to fight for our broth-
During the last two terms of a putting in place stern guidelines content is maximised, including ers and sisters to close the gap.

46 RANK&FILE VOICE FEBRUARY 2019


MUA WA BRANCH MUA IN PARLIAMENT
Kyle McGinn
OUT IN THE ELECTORATE
MINING & PASTORAL:
Pilbara | Kalgoorlie | Kimberley |
North West Central
241 Hannan Street KALGOORLIE.
P: 9022 7003
E: MiningPastoral.McGinn@mp.wa.gov.au

FIFO MENTAL HEALTH REPORT workers have mental health issues I stand for local residential
Enough is Enough!
in Western Australia alone. employment first and foremost,
This 500-page report contained followed by all FIFO on these
The FIFO industry has been swept
many recommendations, that of rosters. If the employers are the
under the carpet for years with
great relevance and I believe all ones to make the change manda-
the age old saying, toughen up
on their merits, should be imple-
princess. tory, employees will accept this
mented.
I will be the first to acknowledge and the industry can rebuild from
The report asks the employer, the
that we still have mental health the suicides and bad mental health
government and the employees to
issues in the offshore oil and gas record we see today.
engage these recommendations.
industry and also across the water-
front. But one thing that has been I strongly believe workers in Once it is standardised, employees
made very clear to me over the the Mining industry have been can unite to ensure their work-
past two years is that the mining under-represented, which has al-
ing conditions and pay rates rise
industry is far behind us. lowed unhealthy rosters to become
the norm. appropriately as well.
In the maritime sector, the MUA
punches hard against employers As you may have seen on social You can see the summary of the
on health and safety. This has been media, I have been publicly vocal report at: www.mhc.wa.gov.au/
our number one for our members in asking all employers of FIFO to media/2548/impact-of-fifo-work-
for many years. Why you ask? change all their roster to the equal
arrangement-on-the-mental-health-
Well, I believe it is because we time roster, or short shift rosters
such as eight days on, six days off, and-wellbeing-of-fifo-workers-
have such a dense membership.
The offshore is around 98% union or five days on two days off. summary-report.pdf
membership, which has given
workers strong representation at ORGANISE ON INSIDE TO FIGHT FOR CHANGE ON THE OUTSIDE
EBAs. The Mining industry has It is no secret that Maritime workers in Western Australia are political
been smashed for years and unions animals.
driven out.
You just have to do a Google search to see the impact that the WA
What happens when workers are Branch has had over the years on outcomes.
left unprotected? The employer
We cannot sit back now and think we have done enough. We must
takes everything and leaves noth-
continue to organise, organise and organise again, because your future
ing. Casualisation happens, leaving
in the industry is at stake.
you stuck with labour hire and no
one but yourself to defend unfair MUA members are generally loud ‘n clear on their views and politics
dismissals and safety concerns. is no exception. We must understand that in order to make change we
must unite together and form our view inside the tent, not outside of it.
This has led to a culture of fear in
the workforce and the attitude of We could join minor parties and have a whinge about what we don’t
if you want the job then you had like, knowing full well they will never be in government and will
better keep your head down and never have the power to legislate any of the outcomes we want.
shut up.
Or we can continue to fight like hell to ensure major parties such as
Four weeks on and one week off the WA Branch of the Labor Party don’t forget about working class
is toxic to the mental health of values and never lose their way again.
employees and their families. It is
Join our struggle comrades; we need you to help fight for your rights.
directly responsible for negatively
Don’t just stand on the outside throwing stones. Join us and burn the
impacting mental health and well-
place down.
being issues.
I am looking forward to seeing you all at this year’s joint MUA,
A September 2018 report provided
TCFUA and CFMEU Conference, and I urge each and every one of
for the WA Mental Health Com-
you to join the party. Renew your membership, encourage your family
mission called Impact of FIFO
and friends to join and be active in the fight for everyday Australians,
work arrangements on the mental
because if we don’t fight, we lose.
health and wellbeing of FIFO
workers surveyed over 3000 FIFO In Solidarity
workers across multiple rosters The Hon Kyle McGinn MLC
and has found that 33% of FIFO

RANK&FILE VOICE FEBRUARY 2019 47


MUA WA BRANCH POLITICAL REPORT

It was a busy year for


the WA Branch “You can’t fight for one

L
ast year was a busy one at the
Branch and 2019 is shaping up to Report by
be even busier. Since the August BEN LAWVER environment to kill another
edition of the MUA newspaper was ORGANISER
down here in Cockburn
published, we have done a
substantial amount of work to push back against
0424 828 473 Sound. We had ReThink the
ben.lawver@mua.org.au
the outer harbour lobbyists and build on our Link and Save Beeliar
foundation within the Labor Party.
SEPTEMBER
Wetlands, but some of the
Lobbyists have infiltrated the Government’s
Westport Taskforce and are willing to say any- folks who seemed to be
Together with the Fish Army and Naval Base
thing to get Labor committed to building a $6
Shack owners, around 500 folks showed up for activists are more lobbyists.
billion automated port in Cockburn Sound.
These special interest insiders have even
a community rally at Challenger Beach.
“Whether its Liberal or Labor,
attempted to get the MUA thrown off the Speakers expressed their concerns about the whatever Government is in
Westport Taskforce simply because we negative impact a massive outer harbour would
consistently bring facts into the debate and are have on the marine environment in Cockburn there up at Parliament House,
beginning to see traction for our position in Sound, as well as what would happen to public they need to understand the
importance, the significance,
the broader community and halls of access to the beaches and the leases at the
Parliament.
Naval Base Shacks. One of the speakers, Corina
AUGUST Hayden, who campaigned against the flawed ROE and what this place
The outer harbour lobbyists were not happy 8 proposal, had this to say: means to us.”
when the MUA held a public forum in late Rally against the Outer Harbour
August, with more than 600 people attending.
The Fremantle Town Hall was packed for the
event with standing room only for members of
the public who wanted to hear from industry
experts talk about the future of our Port City.
This was the first time in the Westport process
that industry experts from unions, stevedoring
companies, trucking companies, and port
logistical engineers all came together to voice
their opinion on the future capacity of the
Fremantle Inner Harbour to handle our state’s
growing freight task.
Without a doubt, and all of the experts agreed -
Fremantle is best positioned to handle our
growing trade for decades to come.
A new outer harbour? #ItsNotNeeded
Like and share the community Facebook page
www.facebook.com/NoOuterHarbourinKwinana

Members and the Fremantle community turn out in good numbers at the Freo Outer Harbour Forum

RANK&FILE VOICE FEBRUARY 2019 49


MUA WA BRANCH

Rally against the Outer Harbour

From page 45 Language Bias – when the words used to de- harbour and why it just isn’t needed.
scribe something lend themselves to a
A few days after the community rally, the WA This report reiterated the points made by Christy
preconceived outcome held by the author of
Branch held a briefing at Parliament House for and Adrian during the pollies briefing, but also
those words, rather than allow the reader to form ensured any WA Labor Caucus members who
all available members of the Labor Caucus.
an independent opinion based on the facts. missed the in-person discussion also received
Christy and Adrian spoke to a filled caucus
The language bias was sometime subtle, such as the same information.
room of Labor Party members from every fac-
describing the freight corridors around Freman- The Westport What we have found so far Re-
tion and explained in detail why an outer
tle as “historic” and other locations as “strate- port was finally released in mid-December. The
harbour just isn’t needed.
gic”. final version released to the public was signifi-
Several members in the room came up after- cantly different than the initial draft given to us
Sometimes, solving the exact same problems
wards and thanked the MUA for giving them for comment in early October.
were described as opportunities for one location
straight facts and appreciated the information.
while another location used language describing Whole sections had been re-written and the
OCTOBER the issue as being insurmountable. obvious bias supporting closing Fremantle had
As Westport Taskforce reference group mem- The consistent theme in the language bias we been significantly reduced (but not eliminated).
bers, we were asked for our opinion and com- observed was always skewed to favour the You can read a copy of the Westport Report
ment on a draft version of the What we have outer harbour being built in Kwinana. What we have found so far yourself here:
found so far Report.
Fact Selection and Omission Bias – One www.mysaytransport.wa.gov.au/WWHFSF
This was a great opportunity for the MUA to example of this bias found in the draft report
provide feedback on the Report before it was was when the author of a section included actual
made public. In total, our branch submitted 17 dollar costs of congestion at some key locations
pages of feedback. around Fremantle Port, but no similar costs to
congested rail and roadways at other locations.
In our view, the entire draft report was filled
with biases skewing toward closing By selectively presenting the “cost” to the
Fremantle and building a massive outer harbour economy at only one location, it created bias
in Kwinana. There was so much bias we had so toward a specific outcome.
separate the various kinds into categories: After submitting our 17 pages of feedback on
Goal Bias – where the stated definitions of suc- the draft Westport Report, the taskforce delayed
cess skewed toward a specific outcome. its release by more than six weeks while some
major edits went on behind the scenes.
The draft report stated that because of several
unique factors it was best to compare West NOVEMBER & DECEMBER
Australia’s freight needs with other Australian
It was during this six-week period between No-
cities.
vember and mid-December that the WA Branch
But success was defined in one section as being bombarded press outlets and the Labor Caucus
competitive with other, much larger, internation- with information, by releasing individual chap-
al ports. ters of a 40-page report we authored on the outer

50 RANK&FILE VOICE FEBRUARY 2019


MUA WA BRANCH POLITICAL REPORT
MUA Seafarer Vicky Helps
campaigning for Australian
shipping at the ALP National
Conference

Christy Cain arguing


for Australian shipping
& Industrial Manslaugher
Laws at the ALP National
Conference
Enterprise Agreements by employers

A
s 2018 neared it close, the WA Coastal shipping policy, resolutions support-
Branch sent a delegation to the ing a working port in Fremantle, Industrial
• restoring penalty rates
(rescheduled) National ALP Manslaughter, and more will be under threat if
Conference in Adelaide. The • allowing workers to bargain across multiple we don’t ensure our delegation is full for this
work we are doing within the employers conference.
ALP in WA has really set the bar high for our
• scrapping the ABCC and the ROC As we know here in WA, getting good policies
comrades in other parts of the country and be-
into the Labor platform is just the start of mak-
cause of our efforts, the CFMMEU managed to It would take almost an entire paper to list all
ing change happen.
score significant wins within the Labor Party. the positive resolutions passed by this Confer-
ence and how committed the ALP is to restore We need to hold Labor pollies accountable and
At the Conference we saw one of our own rank-
fairness in this country. continue to grow our influence within the party
and-file members, Mich-elle Meyers, sworn in
itself to turn the platform into action. This is why
as VP and our new combined delegate strength It wasn’t just the number of resolutions that
together with the other Progressive Labor unions
with the CFMEU resulted in TWO CFMMEU passed that I found inspiring, but how specific
we are launching an ALP membership drive
representatives on the ALP National Executive the commitments were and the willingness of during the first months of the year, aimed at
as well as a coveted seat at the National Exec the ALP Federal Parliamentarians to embrace continuing the growth that resulted in the MUA
Admin table. their union values and roots by adopting strong recruiting nearly 250 new members and estab-
On the policy front, Christy spoke to the Confer- resolutions as official platform policies. lishing two new WA Labor branches in 2018.
ence about the need for tough national industrial All-in-all, after attending the National ALP You can renew you WA Labor membership
manslaughter laws. He got everyone’s attention Conference, we can report with confidence that online at www.walabor.org.au/renew
at the start of his speech by asking for a minute a Shorten-Labor Government will have our
of silence to reflect on all of the workers who interests, and the interests of the majority of Or you can join the ALP online at –
had been killed on the job and by the end of his Australians, as their policy priority. www.walabor.org.au/join (be sure to select the
remarks everyone in the hall was shouting, Kill Maritime branch)
a Worker, Go To Jail. Securing positive policies at the national level
doesn’t mean our work is done. There are elections coming in the as well. In
The resolution for a Shorten-Labor Government addition to the volunteer opportunities, a federal
to pass Industrial Manslaughter Laws (based on In the coming year, there are still many election will be likely in May and local council
the Queensland model) within the first year of be- challenges to be faced in West Australia. elections will be held in October.
ing elected passed the Conference unanimously. In 2019, the battle to keep Fremantle an Of the over 400 local council positions that will
Vicki Helps addressed the Conference about the operational and publicly-owned port will be be elected in 2019, 10 per cent were unopposed
need for a revitalised Australian Shipping sector. won or lost. the last time they were up and over 110 of the
The resolution for Australian flagged ships, with Right now, the momentum is going our positions saw fewer than one out of every three
workers on those ships earning Australian wages direction, but even with the facts in our favour eligible voters casting a ballot.
and conditions, was also passed by the Confer- we are up against deep pocketed special The MUA is holding a candidate training for our
ence unanimously. interests who continue to lobby the Labor members who are interested in learning what
ACTU Secretary Sally McManus presented the Government non-stop. it takes to run a successful campaign for local
Change the Rules campaign and introduced a Our campaign to stop this horrible outer harbour council or knows someone with strong union
sweeping set of platform changes including: proposal will kick into high gear in the coming values who might be a good candidate.
• establishing a new Pay Equity Panel in the Fair months and will only be successful if each of This new training program will initially focus
Work Commission you gets involved. on a small number of races and provide MUA
members with the tools to run and win in these
• delivering wage justice You don’t want 2020 to be the year you wish
local council elections.
you did more to save our port.
• transitioning casual workers into part time or
Thank you to everyone who helped make 2018
full-time work WA Labor will be holding their state conference
a success and look forward to working with
in August and many of the platform items adopt-
• cracking down on sham independent contracting everyone in the coming year.
ed at the last state conference could be removed
• stopping the unilateral termination of unless they are affirmed again in 2019. Ben Lawver

RANK&FILE VOICE FEBRUARY 2019 51


Help deliver decades of job security
and keep Fremantle a working port

MUA helps secure 21 year leases (7-7-7) for


Fremantle container terminals and the 6000
logistic workers who work in and around
Fremantle and associated workplaces.
Hon Alannah MacTiernan MLC, Minister for
Ports, (pictured) should be commended for her
decision to back in Fremantle wharfies.

Join the campaign to stop


the lobbyists’ $6 billion
outer harbour.

IT’S JUST NOT NEEDED