The Australian Mines and Metals Association has taken pre-emptive court action to prevent the Maritime Union of Australia from taking strike action against four vessel operators, after the union was accused of breaching bargaining orders.
The court action to take place in the Perth Federal Court would prevent the MUA from taking any future protected industrial action against the four players.
This application covers Tidewater, Mermaid Marine, Swire Pacific Management and Skilled, which are all being represented by AMMA.
AMMA has filed this action after 20 months of stalled negotiations regarding employment agreements for key marine services providers working on major offshore projects, including Chevron’s Wheatstone gas project.
This aims to clarify if the MUA’s breaches warrant a block on any future protected action.
AMMA executive director policy and affairs Scott Barklamb said there was “very clear” legislation in this case.
“The legislation is very clear that any party which has been found to have contravened the Commission’s bargaining orders cannot be approved to take future protected strike action,” he said.
“The MUA itself has acknowledged that it did not meet requirements set out by Commissioner Cloghan on 9 July regarding bargaining for new enterprise agreements in the offshore resources maritime support sector.
“AMMA has taken this action to provide some of Australia’s most important resource projects, which create thousands of jobs and significant economic value for our country, with some certainty against strike action threatened by the MUA.”
The Association and four employers are also waiting on a decision on whether the MUA’s conduct proves officials have not always been bargaining in good faith.