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The wharfies’ union and their major employer Patrick Terminals have been unable to reach an agreement to end industrial action at Sydney’s Port Botany, even after days of being provoked and threatened by the Prime Minister.
The Maritime Union of Australia and Patrick have been negotiating a new enterprise agreement for seven months. The deal is conditional on Patrick Terminals agreeing to a 2.5 per cent pay rise for workers, instead of the six per cent it had previously sought.
In response to this deadlock, Prime Minister Morrison has had to take off his blokey working man hat that got him elected, and put on his more natural Thatcherite hat.
The PM came out on the front foot in a media conference on Monday, first accusing the Union of holding Australia at ransom with a ‘militant campaign of extortion’ in the middle of a recession.
Morrison has also refused to rule out sending in the army, because the wharfies were preventing the unloading of important medical supplies, and that there were 40 container ships currently waiting to dock in Botany Bay.
Surprisingly these threats did not appear to work on the most hardcore trade union in Australia, with the MUA refusing to stand down, while also clarifying that the workers have been ordered to let through any medical supplies that may be aboard the 4 ships that are actually floating in the body of water above the Prime Minister’s electorate.
They have, however, offered a peace deal in an effort to get operations back underway so that farming produce doesn’t rot on the docks.
The union proposal would see the company’s existing workplace agreement extended for 12 months – maintaining existing terms and conditions – while providing a “reasonable” 2.5% pay rise, the MUA said in a statement on Wednesday.
This peace offering has not yet been accepted by Patricks, and instead has resulted in another press conference from the Prime Minister.
“From what I’ve been told. They are down there torturing and killing innocent baby kittens” said the Prime Minister, visibly holding back tears, as he read a focus-group generated press release to the 4 NewsCorp journalists from Sky News and the Daily Telegraph that he had invited to listen.
“These radical socialists have told us they will be killing kittens every day until we give each and every one of them $400k per year with holidays”
“They are asking for Cabinet Minister-sized salaries, and we all know they don’t work hard enough for that”
The MUA were approached for comment, but all our newspaper received was some vitriolic comments about how the Bunnies are going to fuck the Sharks in the NRL finals.
MORE TO COME.