Sacked port workers continue to rally

Hutchison port workers will continue to hold public rallies until sacked staff are re-employed within the company, the Maritime Union Australia says.

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Hutchison Ports Australia sacked 97 staff members in Brisbane and Sydney via text and email just before midnight on August 6.

Workers protested outside Vodafone stores in Sydney and Brisbane on Wednesday, calling on Hutchison to re-employ them under fair work conditions.

Vodafone Australia and Hutchison Ports have corporate links through holding companies.

Sacked worker Martin O’Daly is one of many employees yet to be allowed back into the ports, despite the Federal Court granting a temporary injunction against their sacking nearly two weeks ago.

“Hutchison Ports told us they had no work and unfairly sacked us all,” Mr O’Daly told AAP in Sydney.

“It was not fair selection criteria, it was just a head-picking, union-busting exercise by the company.”

Mr O’Daly, who worked as a Hutchison Ports maintenance shift leader, said anyone who was affiliated with the union was also sacked.

“We are out here letting people know what Hutchison have done to us, we are letting people know it is not ok for honest hard working Australians to be sacked by SMS.”

MUA national secretary Paddy Crumlin said Hutchison’s conduct in sacking the workers, and their continued intransigence in negotiations, was outrageous.

“This conduct by Hutchison doesn’t pass the pub test,” he said in a statement.

“We’re outraged, and the outpouring of community support for the sacked workers suggests the Australian public is too.”

A MUA NSW spokesperson said the union would continue to hold public rallies until their case is heard by Hutchison Ports Australia.

The company’s management met with the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) at the Fair Work Commission in Sydney on Wednesday, ahead of the Federal Court hearing next week.

Comment has been sought from Hutchison Ports Australia.