MUA halts injunction against Patrick


The Maritime Union of Australia today withdrew its application for an urgent injunction against Patrick but says it’s still an option

MUA halts injunction against Patrick
MUA halts injunction against Patrick

By Anna Game-Lopata | September 14, 2012

The Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) today withdrew its application for an urgent injunction against Patrick Stevedores but says it’s still an option for the future.

The union threatened to seek a Federal Court injunction against Asciano's stevedoring division on Monday to prevent it taking further steps towards automation at its Port Botany cargo terminal.

But the MUA today agreed to withdraw its application for an urgent injunction at a directions hearing in Sydney, vowing to continue court action against what it calls Patrick's attempts to introduce automation without negotiation.

MUA Deputy National Secretary Mick Doleman tells SupplyChain Review the union has requested a range of relevant information from Patrick regarding its plans to automate.

"[Patrick] has committed to provide certain information," Doleman says.

"Our application for an interim injunction to prevent Patrick from further progressing their plans to automate remains an option as we review this information from Patrick.

"We'll continue to fight Patrick's underhanded attempts to automate without negotiation through legal, political, commercial and international campaigns."

The two parties held discussions prior to the hearing yesterday
as a result of
the union’s claim Patrick failed to consult with employees before announcing the new contract to deliver 44 automated straddle carriers to Port Botany by the end of the year.

MUA lawyers alleged the proposed automation of Patrick’s Port Botany cargo terminal will result in the loss of 270 jobs from Patrick Stevedores’ 511-strong workforce at Port Botany by 2014.

The MUA argues the company is acting in breach of the consultation clause of the enterprise bargaining agreement struck in April.

An Asciano spokesperson says the company is pleased the MUA has decided to withdraw its application for an urgent injunction.

"We look forward to continuing the consultation process with our employees and their representatives on all aspects of the Project, throughout its two year duration," the spokesperson says.

Asciano announced its new contract with Finnish company Cargotec Corporation to deliver the 44 Autostrads in August.

The MUA and Asciano will appear again before the Federal Court on 3 October 2012.

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