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CFMMEU ordered to end Tasmanian blockade

Media Release

The Morrison Government has welcomed a decision by the Fair Work Commission to order the CFMMEU to cease industrial action that had been strangling Tasmanian freight movements.

Toll Shipping successfully applied to the Commission for an immediate halt on what the company claimed was a “go-slow” by union members at its Web Dock in Victoria, which had reportedly resulted in a 30 per cent drop in container movements in and out of Tasmania in recent weeks.

The Tasmanian Government claimed the CFMMEU’s actions had led to significant container backlogs at both ends of the shipping run from Melbourne to Burnie, causing shortages of some consumer goods and raw materials, while also preventing exports of fresh produce from getting to the mainland.

Attorney-General and Minister for Industrial Relations, Christian Porter, said that while Australia was grappling with a the COVID-19 outbreak, now was not the time for any group – be they unions or employers – to be adding further pressures on the Australian economy.

“Only yesterday I met with senior representatives from unions and businesses and asked them to consider the broader national interest during these challenging times,” Mr Porter said.

“That means putting vested interests to one side to ensure that businesses can continue to operate at maximum capacity, especially those producing key consumer goods such as food and pharmaceuticals.

“At the same time, we also need to find ways to support Australian workers, and in particular casuals, who may be impacted by the virus and its knock-on effects to the wider economy.

“The Government will announce how it plans to assist in the very near future, but businesses and unions must also be flexible and willing to shoulder their share of the load.”