Tugboat strikes continue across Australia

Tugboat strikes continue across Australia

Australian tugboat engineers kicked off another two-day strike at select ports today, part of an ongoing dispute with towage company Svitzer that saw huge disruptions to ports across the island last week.

The latest industrial action will end at midnight on Tuesday.

Ports in Sydney, Botany, Fremantle and Kwinana are affected today with the organisers of the protest warning another four ports could be hit tomorrow.

The industrial action comes after unsuccessful negotiations for a new enterprise agreement, with engineers rejecting attempts by Svitzer to bring them under the same agreement as deckhands and tugboat skippers.

“For an island nation like Australia, which relies on the maritime industry to move 99 per cent of its industrial trade, the stoppages will damage the Australian economy and put jobs at risk,” Svitzer said in a release last week.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.

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