Notification of Protected Industrial Action by CFMMEU (MUA division)


Dear Reader,

Further proposed action by the MUA, this time against Tug Boat Operator Svitzer will severely disrupt an already congested and dysfunctional operating environment for Shipping Lines.

Any further delays – including weather events will only exacerbate congestion and add costs within the shipping supply chain.

See below notice from Svitzer for more information.

Update: Notification of Protected Industrial Action

As part of our commitment to transparency and providing regular updates, we are writing to let you know that Svitzer Australia has received notification from the Maritime Union of Australia of intended protected industrial action by members.

The protected industrial action is planned to take place from 12:01 am Thursday 29 October 2020 through to 11:59 pm Sunday 29 November 2020 and involves MUA members in all ports covered by Svitzer Australia’s National Towage Enterprise Agreement engaging in bans on: 

·         Overtime, including recall from leave;

·         Use of our planned maintenance system Sertica;

·         Svitzer Australia online training courses;

·         Breaks being taken away from the ordinary Svitzer tug berth, including temporary        moorings.

Please see attached the two notices that cover the period of protected industrial action. 

Following clarification by the MUA, the Notice 1 comes into effect 12.01 am Thursday 29 October 2020 will be withdrawn at 11:59 pm on Thursday 29 October 2020 and will cease to have effect after that point.

From 12.01 am Friday 30 October through to 11.59 pm Sunday 29 November Protected Industrial Action – Notice 2 will be in effect.

Svitzer Australia is disappointed at the decision of the MUA to take protected industrial action.

This protected industrial action has the potential to disrupt the vital and essential service we provide at a critical time, causing further uncertainty for our business, employees, customers and our port stakeholders. Svitzer takes seriously and is proud of the role we play in the flow of the economy by providing safe and efficient services in ports around Australia. 

We will be doing all we can to minimise the disruption to our customers by adjusting schedules. We will also be absorbing additional costs including fuel (associated with additional steam times) and extra crew costs (through the increased use of casuals), at a period where we are already dealing with reduced volumes due to competition and COVID 19. Incurring those additional costs will impact our ability to invest those funds instead of securing our position in the ports.   

We remain committed to bargaining with the unions to develop an agreement that provides a fair outcome for employees and the business, which maintains salaries and ensures a strong, sustainable foundation for the future.

The most productive way to achieve an outcome is around the bargaining table where we have an opportunity to collaboratively and collectively address each parties’ claims.

Svitzer’s expectations – participation of employees in proposed protective industrial action

Svitzer is committed to providing a workplace that is free of coercion, bullying, harassment, violence, victimisation, vilification and unlawful discrimination.

If an employee chooses to participate in the notified protected industrial action, colleagues are reminded of their obligation to behave in line with the company’s values. It is important we continue to respect each other, to ensure a safe and healthy workplace.

We encourage you to reach out via the existing channels to address any concerns you may have, knowing that we are fully committed to treating your concerns with sensitivity.


Svitzer Australia

If you have any questions please contact your local Quay representative.

Thanks & kind regards

Quay Customer Service

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