Australia’s Tug Boat Wrangle


A dispute has emerged between both the Australian Institute of Marine and Power Engineers (AIMPE) and operator Svitzer Australia after a new enterprise agreement, with 200 tugboat engineers voting to strike and could lead to Australia’s East Coast ports shutting down for 12 hours on the week commencing January 11, 2016, according to the Australian Financial Review.

A Svitzer Australia Spokesman said: “In the maritime industry of 2016 one agreement simply makes common sense – one tug, one crew and therefore one agreement.

“What's more, under the proposed new agreement all the conditions, entitlements and protections engineers receive today will remain unchanged for the next four years. 

“For example, the Engineers' Duty Clause is fully retained in the proposed new agreement, meaning any changes to an engineer's duties at any point in the future could only occur after consultations with their union, AIMPE. We're not after huge pay rises.”

Martin Byrne, Federal Secretary of the AIMPE, said: “There are issues that are relevant to our members and we're very keen to make sure they're not traded off for pay rises [by the other two unions].”

In other Australian port news, Marika Calfas has recently been appointed as the new CEO of New South Wales, Australia’s ports where she will be focusing on increasing operational and supply chain efficiency.

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