Qube Melbourne workers strike over EBA
Workers at Qube Ports’ Port Melbourne facility have carried out a 48-hour strike following a move by the company to terminate an agreement on salary and conditions.
Explaining the strike, which promoted Qube to fly in workers by helicopter, the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) said Qube had already removed longstanding rosters and pushed longer working hours, while termination of the Enterprise Bargaining Agreement (EBA) and return to the industry award would mean a pay cut of at least 40%.
“Why should Qube Melbourne not get the same wages as other ports when the company has inflamed the workplace with unjust sackings, excessive hours, discipline and removal of the roster,” MUA assistant national secretary Warren Smith said.
“After deliberately inflaming tensions in the workplace and refusing to negotiate in good faith, management have now decided to try to cut workers’ take home pay by 40 per cent by reverting to the award.”
Workers have restricted shifts to seven hours. The MUA said Qube had identified fatigue as an issue but workers were still undertaking long and consecutive shifts.
It stated Qube removed the roster in early 2015, saying it would revert when trading conditions improved, but the roster has not been reinstated despite volumes increasing.
Qube Ports has services and facilities in 28 Australian ports.
Qube Ports has been contacted for comment.
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