Critical items Victorian consumers need will be left stranded on the dock thanks to unnecessary union stop work action and a lack of action from the Andrews Labor Government.
The Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) is planning eight 12-hour work stoppages at the Victorian International Container Terminal (VICT) as part of an ongoing enterprise bargaining agreement negotiation.
VICT is Australia’s first fully automated container terminal, and the union’s demands are both incompatible with the modern way it operates and puts the business’s viability at risk.
As Victoria recovers from its fourth lockdown and the supply chain is under increasing pressure to ensure goods can get to where they need to be, the union’s latest reckless action risks Victorians not being able to access critical goods.
It’s time for Labor’s Industrial Relations Minister Tim Pallas and Ports and Freight Minister Melissa Horne to step up and say enough is enough.
Taking this strike action now flies in the face of the way all Victorians are pulling together to get through the pandemic. The Andrews Labor Government needs to stand up to its union mates, be on the side of Victorians and say this isn’t on.
Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Ports and Freight, Roma Britnell:
“Victorians shouldn’t be held to ransom by the unions and the Andrews Labor Government needs to stand up and call this out.
“The MUA is demanding old school procedures for a new world dock. They are stuck in the past and trying to drag modern operations back with them.
“As Victoria comes out yet another lockdown, we should be doing everything we can to try and return to some level of normality and assist recovery. But the MUA is intent on causing even more havoc and the Andrews Labor Government is completely silent.”
Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Industrial Relations, Tim Smith:
“The Andrews Labor Government is smashing Victorian businesses with $5 billion in new or increased taxes, and now its union mates are putting even more pressure on Victorian jobs and businesses at exactly the worst time, with this ludicrous industrial action announced by the MUA.
“Victorians are fighting to rebuild after Labor’s fourth lockdown. Victorian families and businesses have been locked down for 198 days over this pandemic. A self-indulgent strike by Labor’s mates at the MUA couldn’t be happening at a worse time.”