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Issue #1557      25 July 2012

1998 all over again at Patrick’s Port Botany

Patrick’s management has resorted to its mean and tricky ways of 1998 with last week’s shock announcement that it will sack more than half its Port Botany workforce in Sydney.

The company has announced that 270 of its 511-strong Port Botany waterfront workforce will be made redundant by mid-2014 and replaced with automated technology.

Maritime Union of Australia deputy national secretary, Mick Doleman, said the move is ideologically motivated and will decimate the workforce, while failing to deliver any benefits for shareholders and clients.

“This is an extraordinary sleight of hand tactic by Patrick’s management following a protracted 20-month wage negotiation that was only resolved recently.

“The use of Autostrad technology was never discussed in these negotiations. In fact, we were given explicit guarantees that all straddles would be fully manned.

“The technology Patrick is introducing is unproductive and very expensive. This will not lift productivity, and will become a millstone around shareholders’ necks.

“In Brisbane, where this technology is used, target box rates in the EBA are lower than elsewhere in the country.

“This proves that this move is about ideology, not productivity. Patrick shareholders should be outraged at this move.”  

Next article – Food plan green paper gets red light

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