Xmas message from the president
2018 has been a tough year for all members and their families throughout the industry. We have seen an increase in workforce casualisation and a government determined to completely destroy Australian shipping driven by nothing more than greed. Numerous members and their families have had to face unemployment or redundancy. Throughout this, your union officials have worked tirelessly to secure the best conditions and job security possible given the current state of the industry and they will continue with this into 2019.
2019 looks promising for the shipping industry
Next year is looking promising with a federal election looming and the expectation of a long-overdue worker-friendly government. Thankfully, the Coastal Trading (Revitalising Australian Shipping) Amendment Bill 2017 is stalled in the Senate. This proposed law would not add a single Australian ship or provide a single Australian seafaring job. A Senate inquiry into Australian shipping has now been opened and with the prospective change of federal government we are cautiously optimistic. This hasn’t just happened because of government desire, it has come about from AMOU members getting involved and writing to their federal MPs and the union lobbying and participating in industry forums and committees. A lot of this work goes on behind the scenes in these campaigns and often fails to get the recognition deserved. In 2019 we will continue lobbying, working with all sectors of the industry and also ensuring all three unions are aligned and working in a professional and cooperative manner in the interests of a secure future for all Australian mariners.
Fresh AMOU faces, new enthusiasm to deliver for members
On the office front we have worked our way through the union restructuring programme and secured a staff agreement that is both fair and financially sustainable for the union. This wasn’t an easy feat and for those staff whom understood the rationale for this and stood by the union and its members, I would like to extend my personal appreciation. To the staff that joined us in 2018; Liz Jenkins, Marty McEvilly and Kerry Wennersten in Sydney and Glenn Walsh in Fremantle; a warm welcome onboard. We are still working on recruiting an industrial officer or organiser for Brisbane and a restructuring of industrial portfolios so as to better balance the workload and strengthen member representation. We have a big year ahead of us and I look forward to the challenges it brings.
Happy Christmas and a safe New Year
I would like to take this opportunity on behalf of the Executive Council and the Staff to wish all the members and their families a Merry Christmas and a safe and prosperous New Year. To those on shift or at sea away from family and friends at this time of the year, look after yourselves and stay safe so you can return home to a well-earned leave in the New Year.
Tim Higgs, President