The Australian Road Transport Industrial Organisation (ARTIO) has made a formal submission to the Fair Work Commission objecting to the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) application to vary the Stevedoring Industry Award 2010 under the Award Modernisation process.
ARTIO secretary/treasurer Peter Garske said: “The MUA application would result in a broadening of the coverage of the Stevedoring Industry Award resulting in the MUA achieving increased industrial representation in waterfront activities, beyond those that currently exist.”
“The MUA application will most certainly lead to demarcation disputes with the Transport Workers Union resulting in interruption to the efficiency and productivity of Waterfront Operators.”
The MUA has proposed that the definition of ‘Stevedoring Industry’ be altered to include many functions and duties performed by Road Transport Operators operating under the Road Transport and Distribution (RTD) Award 2010. The application seeks to vary the arrangements first established under the Transport Workers’ Award 1983.
The MUA is seeking to have the definition of Stevedoring altered to include the trucking of all types of cargo or other goods from wharf sheds, wharf storage or stacking areas, to and from the ship, as well as the cleaning, maintenance, packing and unpacking of containers.
Mr Garske further said: “Such tasks do not specifically relate to the loading or unloading of cargo or goods to or from the ship, which is the well-established and understood definition of what constitutes stevedoring activity.
“The ARTIO submission argues that the definition of stevedoring work must relate directly to the loading and unloading of a ship within the designated precincts of a wharf and it must exclude the work of the driver of the truck engaged in the delivery of freight to and from the wharf.
“ARTIO submits that the RTD Award classification structure specifically covers work defined as the packing/unpacking of containers and the loading/unloading of trucks for delivery to a destination which may include a wharf.
“The relevant modern awards clearly delineate the award coverage between the stevedoring industry and the road transport and distribution industry. ARTIO urges the Fair Work Commission to use common sense and dismiss this part of the MUA’s application,” said Mr Garske.
Australian Road Transport Industrial Organisation (ARTIO) is an Industrial Organisation of Employers registered under the Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Act 2009. It has been so registered since 1984. ARTIO represents employers in the transport and logistics industry, particularly those engaged in road transport. ARTIO’s membership includes large multi-national transport companies including those publicly listed, as well as privately owned small- to medium-sized companies.