Svitzer lockout will not proceed – Further update

Attention: Shipping Manager

The Fair Work Commission has today suspended Svitzer’s lockout of its maritime employees for six months. During this time neither the unions nor the company can take protected industrial action.

In the decision, Fair Work Commission vice-president Hatcher, deputy president Cross and deputy president Easton wrote that they were satisfied that the intended lockout threatens to endanger the welfare of the Australian population, and that it would cause significant damage to the Australian economy.

“We consider that the appropriate course is to make an order suspending Svitzer’s protected industrial action for a period of six months. The effect of this order under the FW Act will be that no party will be able to take protected industrial action for the period of the suspension,” they wrote.

Svitzer announced the lockout on Monday (14 November), and it was to take effect at 1200 today (18 November).

Late Wednesday evening, the unions – AIMPE, AMOU and MUA – withdrew notices of protected industrial action that would see employees stop work for up to 24 hours at various ports around the country.

In written submissions to the commission, the three unions argued the commission should suspend industrial action, whereas Svitzer and others argued for a termination.

We will update if any information becomes available.

Source: Daily Cargo News (DCN)