World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Global Unions Put PWCS On Notice

Global Unions Put PWCS On Notice

Global union federations the ITF (International Transport Workers’ Federation) and IndustriALL Global Union have put Port Waratah Coal Services (PWCS) – a major coal exporter based in Australia’s Port of Newcastle – on notice that its drastic failure to consult its workforce is being watched around the world. The company is currently being targeted with action following its attempts to dramatically alter working agreements.

PWCS coal export operations at the port are among the largest in the world, and have significantly increased in tonnage and profitability over the last five years. Workers are represented by a five union strong single bargaining unit (SBU) – which includes two ITF affiliates, the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) and the Transport Workers Union of Australia (TWU), and three IndustriALL affiliates, the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU), the Australian Workers’ Union (AWU) and the Electrical Trades Union (ETU, part of CEPU). Since negotiations for a new enterprise agreement began in August last year there have been over 50 meetings with management.

The bargaining has been marred by management intransigence and aggressive anti-union tactics including a removal from the agreement of any mention of trade unions and a serious weakening of workers’ rights. Equally unacceptable and disruptive has been management’s attempts to input into the agreement more outsourcing of the workforce and weaken the permanent employment relationship of workers.

ITF president and MUA national secretary Paddy Crumlin explained: “Workers at PWCS have consistently delivered increased productivity. However the company has now been ideologically driven to demand more flexibility without negotiation with the unions.  At the same time it has attempted to remove all mention of unions and rights to fair dispute resolution from its agreement in an attempt to break the unions at the site.

“Workers at PWCS have voted to take protected industrial action. Meanwhile the SBU is committed to pursuing a negotiated outcome that provides job security and the necessary protections to employees. We therefore call on PWCS, Rio Tinto and the coal companies who use the port to demonstrate their commitment to negotiating a collective agreement that provides for job security and rights to union protection.”

He concluded: “We will not stand by and let PWCS attack union members and their families. The ITF and its affiliates are closely watching the progress of this dispute and are ready to mobilise ourworldwide resources to achieve a fair resolution of this dispute.”

Writing to the members of the single bargaining unit at PWCS, IndustriALL general secretary Jyrki Raina commented: “The behaviour of PWCS is totally unacceptable and borders on an ideological obsession to eliminate trade unions at the workplace. Their brazen and open anti-union position is evident by seeking to remove from the enterprise agreement all references to unions, the rights to fair dispute resolution, the undermining of permanent jobs via relaxing the contractor’s clause and the demand for more individual flexibility.”

He added: “These union busting tactics have become a Rio Tinto trade mark and only international solidarity has managed to push back these anti-union behaviour and tactics.”


© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Haiti: $5 Million To Kick-Start Aid In Wake Of Hurricane Matthew

UN emergency fund allocates $5 million to kick-start assistance in wake of Hurricane Matthew More>>


Not Helen Clark: António Guterres Favourite For Next UN Secretary-General

Former Portuguese Prime Minister António Guterres has emerged as the clear favourite to become the next United Nations Secretary-General following the sixth secret ballot held today by the UN Security Council, which is expected to take a formal decision tomorrow and forward Mr. Guterres’ name to the 193-Member General Assembly for final confirmation. More>>


Preliminary Results: MH17 Investigation Report

The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) is convinced of having obtained irrefutable evidence to establish that on 17 July 2014, flight MH-17 was shot down by a BUK missile from the 9M38-series. According to the JIT there is also evidence identifying the launch location that involves an agricultural field near Pervomaiskyi which, at the time, was controlled by pro-Russian fighters. More>>


At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>



Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>


Other Australian Detention

Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news