More than 100 workers in Fremantle and Bunbury locked out of their workplaces today are the targets of an unacceptable campaign of industrial extremism by stevedoring company POAGS, the Australian Greens said today.
Greens transport spokesperson, Senator for Western Australia Scott Ludlam, said the workers were being targeted after using work bans to protest about safety concerns and POAGS dragging out Agreement negotiations for 12 months.
"Under current law workers must give 72 hours notice of a strike, but the bosses can go on strike without warning. We saw this extremism from Alan Joyce at Qantas, now we're seeing it from POAGS.
"These workers have legitimate concerns about safety and a legitimate grievance over the company's unreasonable delay in reaching an Enterprise Agreement."
"The work bans, voted on and endorsed MUA members in accordance to the Fair Work Act, would have seen work continuing at the ports but with measures taken to minimise the risk of further injuries on site. POAGS unsuccessfully attempted to have the work bans removed at a Fair Work hearing over the weekend and, having lost that bid, have resorted to industrial extremism."
POAGS is owned by Chris Corrigan's company Qube Logistics. Mr Corrigan shot to notoriety with his attempt to smash the Maritime Union in 1998, which was ruled illegal by the High Court.
"The Greens Member for Melbourne Adam Bandt recently introduced a bill to compel companies to give 72 hours notice of a lock-out, and prevent them using extreme industrial action as a legal tactic. The actions of POAGS reinforce the need for this bill." said Senator Ludlam. "These workers want to work and to work in safety. Denying them that right is a disgrace."
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