QUBE Ports has refused to attend conciliation talks with the MUA over the ongoing dispute at the Port of Fremantle, despite requests from the Fair Work Commission and the West Australian Government to do so.
QUBE’s refusal to negotiate an end to the dispute exposes their public statements as empty rhetoric. After complaining for weeks that industrial action was taking an unacceptable economic toll, they have declined an opportunity to find a way forward.
The MUA have made it very clear that workers want to get back to work and get cargo moving again. QUBE are refusing to engage and instead are holding the WA economy hostage.
Workers are asking for rostering arrangements which would allow them to plan their lives outside of work. Currently none of QUBE’s employees in Fremantle have a roster, instead being forced to live a shift at a time, with no regard for managing fatigue or associated safety issues.
Quotes attributable to ACTU Secretary Sally McManus:
“All MUA members are asking for is the most basic level of job security – to know when their next shift will be.
“Not knowing when you will get work next means you have no ability to plan in any aspect of your life – how can you save money, or plan a holiday, or even plan to see friends or family, when you don’t know when your next shift will come?
“The rostering arrangements which have been in place at QUBE have led to an exhausted workforce and a workplace that is less safe because it. MUA members are standing up against reckless behaviour from their employer.
“QUBE has been asked by the Fair Work Commission and the WA Government to sit down with workers and find an end to this dispute – no worker ever takes industrial action lightly and the MUA want to find an end to this.
“We hope that QUBE will put the interests of workers and the economy first and come to the table.
“Industrial action would never have been necessary if QUBE had given workers the job security that every worker should be able to rely on.”