The Guardian October 4, 2000


Transnational wipes out jobs

by Vic Williams

Over 70 Maritime Union of Australia members and supporters marched along 
Victoria St in the South west WA port of Bunbury in protest at the loss of 
16 jobs for unionists on tugs. About 30 of the protestors came by bus and 
car from Fremantle.

WA Minister of Transport Criddle signed the agreement giving Riverwijs 
partnership exclusive towage of ships in Bunbury Port for five years.

The Dutch company Wijsmuller, the largest tug company in the world, and 
anti-union Queensland Riverside Marine have brought in tugs and crews from 
interstate.

The imported workers will be on a partnership agreement with no 
superannuation and no award protection. MUA union official Wally Prichard 
branded it as an example of New World Order exploitation with no security 
of jobs.

Assistant Secretary Unions WA (renamed Trades and Labor Council), Stephanie 
Mayman, supported the march and said there was no fair go for workers in 
country areas as Riverwijs refuses to take on local labour.

Unions WA have given their support to the big majority of ALP's proposed 
legislation that would do away with the anti-union, anti-worker legislation 
of Keirath's second and third waves that are being used by companies like 
Riverwijs.

John Kobelke, WA opposition shadow Minister for Transport pointed to the 
results of the Court Government policy of contracting out with loss of 
local employment on roads and loss of state ships, as contributing to WA 
having the lowest minimum wage, down $50 a week compared to awards, and 
women's wages down $21 a week.

Back to index page