MUA given more power

THE Gillard government has offered lucrative tax incentives to promote Australia's domestic shipping industry. At the same time it is cracking down on foreign ships operating on Australia's coast. Actually, the tax breaks are a part of the Maritime Union of Australia's campaign for more money. The tax breaks are designed to force business to use Aussie Shipping companies to move their goods in and out of our ports. This will in turn, open up more positions for the union as they continue their campaign for more money and more power. Although they have been quiet lately in January they started their campaign for pay rises of $70,000 to $100,000 for their members, some of whom are nothing more than unskilled labourers. Senator Abetz attacks the MUA in this article from January this year
The MUA’s outrageous wage demands would see maritime workers such as those employees working as kitchen hands, stewards, dishwashers and basic cooks potentially earning up to $230,000 a year”. “Let’s consider that, if a Maritime union seaman whose job is to do the dishes for 15 crew three times a day, earning up to $230,000pa, working 5 days a week, that equates to almost $20 dollars for each plate in the sink”, says Senator Abetz.
Good work if you can get it but any tax advantages or pay rise will help the MUA only. Australia will simply have to pay more for export/import costs. But then, thats the Labor way.


  • Years ago I was a helicopter pilot flying to the offshore oil rigs in Bass Strait and NW Australia. When I landed on one of the rigs I became the lowest paid individual on board – the kitchen hand(s)earned more than I.

    Our association leader despaired of the situation. He maintained we could be as well paid as we wished IF, we joined hands.

    However, as most of us were ex-military and therefore detested the unions, we did not join hands and continued flying for a modest sum.

    Who was right?

  • You were right…maintain your dignity and never, ever side with those Commo bastards. They are responsible for a lot of angst and casualties due to their supporting the enemy in a few of the wars we have fought.

  • “When I landed on one of the rigs I became the lowest paid individual on board – the kitchen hand(s)earned more than I.”
    Absolutely – it’s the pits when the servants don’t know their place. The same is true of childcare workers and teachers aides etc.
    The Yanks have got it sorted – according to the government Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 6.4 million working poor in 2000; by 2003 the number had grown. In 2004, Business Week suggested that “the share of the workforce earning subpoverty pay [is] 24% [in 2003]” people who were employed, but weren’t earning enough to get by.
    Maybe we should follow the example of Myanmar, where The Federation of Trade Unions of Burma (FTUB), founded in 1991 by former trade union leaders, is forced to operate from outside the country.
    Bloody dangerous – those unions…..

    • I did not say anything about people knowing their place, Myanmar or the working poor. Perhaps your comment was posted on the wrong blog.

      But just in case….

      I was making the point that after years of experience, along with holding the highest possible aeronautical qualifications and being responsible for a machine worth millions and the lives of the 15 or so people on board, I was paid less than the kitchenhands on the rig. All due to the extortion and thuggery practised by the unions.

      Likewise all oil rig workers (kitchenhands included) fly first class on the airlines. Don’t know how that sits with the FTUB or people who don’t know their place – perhaps you could advise.

  • Happy to advise.
    I was highlighting a few of your assumptions including – “as most of us were ex-military and therefore detested the unions”
    I can advise that not all ex-military despise unions. My father fought in New Guinea in WW2, and believed that one of the things he was fighting for was the right to organise. Have you heard of Tom Uren – he was ex-military (POW) as was Grahame Edwards – ex Labor MHR in WA and ex 7RAR. I don’t believe Uren detested unions. You could always ask Graham Edwards his opinion….
    My dad was fond of saying – “It doesn’t matter what you do for a crust, so long as you do the best job you can”.
    Like him I don’t perceive of a hierarchy with pilots at one end and kitchen hands at the other, and anyone who has been hospitalised with food poisoning would probably agree with me.
    In case you’ve missed it, one of our enduring national values is egalitarianism.
    I was also pointing that the freedom to organise is usually one of the first freedoms that goes out the window in totalitarian states – hence my Myanmar reference.

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