The Chamber of Commerce and Industry is concerned the Maritime Union of Australia’s planned strike action at Onslow will trigger a domino effect of disruptions at the state’s ports, affecting crucial links in the resources supply chain.
The Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA is concerned the Maritime Union of Australia’s planned strike action at Onslow will trigger a domino effect of disruptions at the state’s ports, affecting crucial links in the resources supply chain.
Up to 100 employees of the marine services company Tidewater are demanding pay increases of 16.5 per cent over four years.
“Union bosses think they have found the state’s Achilles heel and they are attacking it with little regard for anyone else in this state and the impact their misguided actions will ultimately have on household budgets,” CCI chief executive officer Deidre Willmott said.
Ms Willmott said Industrial action at WA ports could cost taxpayers millions of dollars in lost royalty revenue and deter future resource investment in the years ahead.
“Making key WA ports an industrial battleground has the potential to hold up hundreds of millions of dollars of exports,” she said.
In addition to the strike at Onslow, the Fair Work Commission is mediating over disputes with the MUA at Port Hedland and Esperance.
“There is something seriously broken with our system that allows a rogue union to hold the country’s resources industry to ransom. It’s important to note that many of the claims put forward are excessive and out of step with current economic conditions,” Ms Willmott said.
“The federal government needs to make urgent reforms to the Fair Work Act to abolish gaps that allow unions to take protected industrial action over unreasonable claims.
“They also need to amend laws so that employers can negotiate directly with their employees without compulsory union involvement and remove the effective monopoly power of some union.”