Employers threatening to terminate collective agreements and force workers onto minimum Award conditions has become shamefully commonplace.
Svitzer – Australia’s largest tugboat operator – is the latest employer to threaten this nuclear bargaining tactic in a move that would slash workers’ pay by 40%.
Svitzer staff, including crews involved in the recent rescue of a bulk carrier stranded off Sydney, have been bargaining with their employer for more than three years.
Union members have been undertaking industrial action while Svitzer pressures staff to sign a new collective agreement containing a wage increase of just 1.5% in 2022, after two years of no wage increases at all.
Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) Secretary Sally McManus said threating agreement termination as a bargaining tactic is unacceptable.