Svitzer Australia applies to terminate enterprise agreement with maritime unions

Photo: Svitzer Australia
Photo: Svitzer Australia

Svitzer Australia has lodged an application with the Fair Work Commission to terminate its Enterprise Agreement with maritime unions, the MUA, AMOU and AIMPE.

The company said this follows two years of negotiations with the three maritime unions, involving more than 50 meetings and two conciliation sessions facilitated by the Fair Work Commission.

Nicolaj Noes, Managing Director of Svitzer Australia, said he was "extremely disappointed" that the negotiations had come to nothing after so much effort.

"Svitzer has been bargaining in good faith for over two years," said Mr Noes. "The process is exhausted. Terminating the agreement is a first step to a realistic resolution."

Svitzer said the current Enterprise Agreement, which lapsed in 2019, has enabled restrictive work practices and interference in managerial and operational decision-making, leading to inefficiencies and limitations on workplace productivity. The company added it is not prepared to agree to a new EA that replicates legacy terms that had been agreed more than 22 years ago, in a completely different market.

"We are looking to secure an EA that reflects the current market and meets our customers' demands and expectations," said Mr Noes.

Svitzer said that, should the Fair Work Commission terminate the 2016 Enterprise Agreement, the existing enterprise agreement would cease to cover or apply to Svitzer and its approximately 540 employees will be covered by the Marine Towage Award 2020. During this time, Svitzer is committed to continue to bargain to reach a fit for purpose EA.

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Baird Maritime / Work Boat World