Danish tug operator Svitzer Towage has reached an agreement with the three tug crew unions to operate under a single Enterprise Agreement (EA) for the next four years, according to GAC.
This new agreement, lodged on Friday for approval with the Fair Work Commission, has replaced the previous three EAs that expired on December 31, 2015, and simplifies the process of industrial matters going forward, GAC added.
The announcement comes on the back of a number of strikes held over the last ten days in various Australian ports as AIMPE (The Australian Institute of Marine and Power Engineers), one of the three unions involved in the matter, voiced disagreement with Svitzer’s proposed industrial contract which would force three-person crews, consisting of a skipper, a deckhand and an engineer, under a single industrial agreement.
The strikes were held at Australia’s Eastern and Western ports of Sydney, Botany, Geelong, Newcastle, Brisbane, Adelaide, Melbourne, Fremantle and Kwinana, and prevented all coal carriers, fuel carriers, car importers and bulk container vessels from entering and leaving port.
Prior to the industrial action, Svitzer said it had already reached agreement with two unions, out of three involved in the matter, namely the Australian Maritime Officers Union (AMOU) and the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA).
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