Unionist, workers protest outsourcing deal
MORE than 90 workers and union members held a protest at Smit Lamnalco this morning, accusing the company of “sham contracting” and completing repair work overseas that could have been done in Queensland.
Smit Lamnalco, Gladstone Ports Corporation’s exclusive towage provider, has contracted International Maritime Services to take one of four tugboats due for repairs to Papua New Guinea.
Maritime Union of Australia secretary Jason Miners claimed the company would use half the number of crew members for the international voyage, and pay them 60 per cent less than usual.
Australian Maritime Safety Authority’s officers boarded the SL Quoin Island at 1pm today to carry out a routine flag state inspection.
Mr Miners said the company “had five years” to organise the repair work and should not have needed to send one boat overseas.
But Smit Lamnalco refuted the union’s claim it was in breach of its enterprise agreement and that the deal was “sham contracting”.
A Smit Lamnalco spokesperson said the company was required to dry dock four tugboats in 2020, however there were only three shipyards in the region for the work.
A fourth shipyard was selected in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea.
They said Smit Lamnalco did not have the regulatory approvals to conduct an international voyage and contracted IMS.
“The company’s legal representatives confirmed to the Fair Work Commission on Thursday evening that the enterprise agreement covering Smit Lamnalco’s Gladstone operation did not apply to international voyages.”
But Mr Miners said the arrangement undermined the wages, conditions and safety of local maritime workers.
A Gladstone Ports Corporation spokeswoman said the matters did not affect the movement of ships within the Port of Gladstone.