FWC rejects MUA’s unfair dismissal claim against Patrick


Commissioner Iain Cambridge rules the redundancies were genuine

FWC rejects MUA’s unfair dismissal claim against Patrick
The FWC found no criticism in the company’s approach to redeployment since it met all the consultation obligations.

 

The Fair Work Commission today rejected the unfair dismissal applications of eight former Patrick Stevedores employees on grounds of genuine redundancy following restructuring of operations at Patrick's Port Botany container terminal last year.

The Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) had argued that the redundancies were not fair as the workers were involved in clerical duties and other tasks that needed to be handled even after the new automation structure was put in place.

However, the commission found that the positions were made redundant due to operational changes and therefore the functions were no longer required to be performed by anyone.

"The applications involve circumstances of genuine redundancy in satisfaction of the meaning of genuine redundancy established by Section 389 of the Fair Work Act 2009," Commissioner Iain Cambridge states.

"Consequently, the jurisdictional objections made by Patrick must be upheld."

While the FWC noted that Patrick’s post-automation labour model included an insufficient number of crane drivers, it found no criticism in the company’s approach to redeployment since it met all the consultation obligations.

The eight workers were among the 160 employees that were retrenched last year after significant automation and restructuring at the Port Botany container terminal.

Meanwhile, the two sides are engaged in ongoing negotiations over proposed enterprise agreements for its four container terminals.

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