ACTU Executive Condemns Svitzer Towage

Published: 3 Feb 2023



February 2023


Svitzer Towage ongoing dispute

ACTU Executive notes that:

1. Svitzer towage EBA expired on 31 December 2019

2. Svitzer Australia applied in January 2022 to Fair Work to have the existing enterprise agreement terminated, which would:

  • push crew onto the minimum Award conditions
  • slash wages by 47%
  • reduce safety standards, including minimum crewing numbers; and casualise secure jobs.

3. Svitzer Australia planned to lockout their entire Australian tug workforce from Friday 18 November 2022 that was ultimately dismissed by Fair Work Commission, however prevented further Protected Industrial Action by the unions for 6 months preventing any industrial leverage to seek a resolution.

Svitzer Australia towage workers have not had a pay rise in 4 years.

ACTU Executive condemns the relentless and ongoing attack by Svitzer on its employees who are members of the Maritime Unions (MUA, AMOU, AIMPE) and further commits continued support in all and any areas of influence & authority. Further, ACTU Executive write to AP Moller Maersk and demand Svitzer Australia act consistently with AP Moller-Maersk’s global values, including its commitments to: "respecting fundamental labour rights and constructive employee relations. Constructive employee relations can only exist by respecting the rights to freedom of association and collective bargaining, which means actively engaging with trade unions” [AP Moeller Maersk sustainability report 2021].

Moved: Christy Cain, CFMMEU

Seconded: Michael Wright, ETU




Authorised by P Crumlin, Maritime Union of Australia, Sydney