Union wants ports shake-up

Albany Advertiser - - FRONT PAGE - Shan­non Smith

The Mar­itime Union of Aus­tralia has called on the State Gov­ern­ment to dis­band South­ern Ports, claim­ing many work­ers had suf­fered un­der the new regime.

The MUA met with work­ers at Al­bany Port last week to dis­cuss the fu­ture make-up of the South­ern Ports, which in­cluded the amal­ga­ma­tion of Al­bany, Esper­ance and Bun­bury un­der the pre­vi­ous State Gov­ern­ment into one en­tity in Oc­to­ber 2014.

The cur­rent State Gov­ern­ment an­nounced it would review the amal­ga­ma­tion.

MUA As­sis­tant Branch Sec­re­tary Jeff Cas­sar said he holds a strong view that the amal­ga­ma­tion should be dis­banded.

“It means that re­gional ports will be once again man­aged by peo­ple who live within the lo­cal com­mu­nity, have a ba­sic un­der­stand­ing of com­mu­nity needs, and have a gen­uine mo­ti­va­tion to ad­min­is­ter each of these ports for the ben­e­fit of the lo­cal com­mu­nity and the State,” he said.

“That will be a happy day in­deed; too many peo­ple have al­ready suf­fered enough at the hands of the cur­rent regime.

“Hard-work­ing peo­ple have lost their jobs, and peo­ple who have car­ried them­selves with dig­nity have had their cred­i­bil­ity dragged through the mud.”

Mr Cas­sar said the MUA are re­fer­ring mem­bers em­ployed through­out the South­ern Ports to lawyers on a scale that he has never ex­pe­ri­enced be­fore in his work­ing life.

“I have very se­ri­ous con­cerns that some­one is go­ing to in­jure them­selves on the job as the re­sult of the dis­trac­tion or, worse still, harm them­selves due to the high lev­els of stress and anxiety,” he said. “I have mem­bers who have been em­ployed at the Port for years who are now lit­er­ally await­ing the out­come of the review to de­ter­mine whether they will con­tinue their em­ploy­ment at Al­bany Port or walk away from the job in the in­ter­ests of their health and well­be­ing.”

The review is ex­pected to be com­pleted by the end of the year, chaired by Mem­ber for Agriculture Re­gion Laurie Gra­ham.

Pic­ture: Laurie Ben­son

Load­ing a grain ship Al­bany ter­mi­nal.

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