The MUA Queensland Branch is in the midst of major battles with mining multinationals which are trashing Australian workplace laws.
Placards reading “STOP WORKCHOICES ON WATER” and chants of “Sweet FA, BMA” accompanied the occupation of BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance’s (BMA) office in Brisbane late last month.
BMA is the largest coking coal operator in the world.
The occupation was the latest union action in response to the sacking of the entire tug workforce at the Hay Point Coal terminal (near Mackay) in June 2016.
BMA replaced its previous operator and awarded the tug contract to Rivtow Marine, which has hired a new workforce on individual agreements.
The MUA is also pushing back against giant miner Rio Tinto to gain far greater Australian Crew participation on the Gladstone/Weipa run.
Rio Tinto has constantly disregarded an MOU signed by Rio and the MUA in 2010 clearly stating that 70 to 80 percent of its coastal cargo will be carried by an Australian-crewed vessel – the figure currently is approximately 30 percent of cargo!
Rio makes billions of dollars from extracting a mineral it did not create and is refusing to employ Australian seafarers on Australian rates in the transportation of bauxite.
Stay tuned for more on this campaign!