Sacked Hutchison Ports workers have been granted an injunction by the Federal Court, but a security cordon remained at the Sydney work site on Friday. Photo: Jorge BrancoHutchison Ports workers who temporarily won their jobs back on Thursday night after being sacked by text message the previous week say they were confronted by security staff when they returned to the Port Botany work site on Friday morning.
The 97 workers in Sydney and Brisbane who were sacked overnight on Thursday last week won their jobs back until August 31, after the Federal Court granted a temporary injunction against the company.
But when they returned to work at 6am on Friday, those in Sydney said they were confronted by security staff at Port Botany. Workers in Brisbane were not prevented from returning.
Sydney staff returned for the start of the 2pm shift, but the Maritime Union of Australia said three were excluded because they were among the 97 who were sacked.
The union and company lawyers met in the Fair Work Commission again later in the afternoon in response to the company’s request for a return to work order for staff who have been taking part in a picket line in solidarity with their sacked colleagues.
The Federal Court Justice Darryl Rangiah issued a temporary injunction on Thursday night restraining Hutchison Ports Australia from sacking the 97 workers until August 31, when the case is due to return to the Federal Court.
Maritime Union of Australia national secretary Paddy Crumlin, who addressed staff at Port Botany on Friday, said a functional relationship between workers and the company needed to be re-established.
“And to have that, we don’t need the sophistry of the legals,” Mr Crumlin said.
“We were here at 6 o’clock. There was no one here greeting them from the company.
“They still had the cordon of the security.”
Mr Crumlin said his members “honestly want to go back to work”.
“These are the people that have been ripped out of the heart of their workforce.
“And if you don’t have work you haven’t got a life, you can’t educate your kids.”
The MUA has accused the company of deliberately sacking its members as part of a “union busting” strategy.
Hutchison Ports Australia has refused to comment.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.