Port Kembla Pilots Take Protected Action

The Port Kembla Pilots have been engaged in protected industrial action seeking a modest wage outcome, fatigue management issues, life and income insurance protection, and the creation of a Check Pilot/Senior Pilot position.

The AMOU, on behalf of the 8 pilots employed by Port Kembla Port Corporation, made application to Fair Work Australia for a protected action ballot to apply. In its application the union explained that the current agreement expired in March 2012 and that we have been negotiating in good faith during this time, in order to get agreement.

The Fair Work commission agreed to the AMOU application, agreed that the organisation had complied with "bargaining in good faith" principles, and requested the Australian Electoral Commission (A.E.C) hold a ballot of members, for a protected action period to apply.

The A.E.C put a ballot out to members, all of whom unanimously supported a number of different types of industrial actions to occur. The AMOU gave the P.K.P.C the necessary 72 hours notice and advised that pilots would not be available for night shift (shift commencing at 1800 and concluding 0600 the following day) from Tuesday 20 November to Friday 23 November, inclusive. The action is to cease at 0600 on Saturday 24 November.

A further action, a six hour stop work meeting, for Monday 26 November, 0600 to 1200 has also been notified. AMOU officials, Michael Fleming and Robert Coombs will attend this meeting.

The actions of members in pursuit of modest claims are more than reasonable. The P.K.P.C continues to offer 2.5% wage increase, at a time when their colleagues have in Sydney and Newcastle have received higher outcomes. The other claims, in relation to fatigue management, life and income protection insurance, and Senior Pilot position all have precedent within the industry - they are neither opportunistic or extravagant.

The AMOU recognises the courage and determination of the P.K.P.C Pilots and have identified their claims as a priority responsibility for the organisation.

We will keep all informed of any development regarding this issue.