TasPorts marine pilots strike announcement has led to a cluster of cruise cancellations. Viking Sky and Norwegian Spirit will be skipping Hobart and Burnie on their respective itineraries as labour negotiations continue to drag on.
Previous strikes by the marine pilots have already resulted in disrupted itineraries for cruise ships like Disney Wonder and Azamara Journey.
The longer the strike continues, the more thousands of cruise passengers are having their holidays interrupted. As well as local tourism operators not receiving the expected business from cruise ship visitors.
However, the two sides of the negotiation are yet to see eye-to-eye.
A member of marine pilots union said: “As part of the ongoing negotiations…the Marine Pilots suspended Protected Industrial Action in an effort to engage in genuine negotiations with TasPorts.
“Unfortunately, this has proven to be fruitless with TasPorts not only failing to adequately address Pilots’ outstanding claims. But bringing additional claims to the table under the guise of ‘productivity improvements.”
On the other end of the table, TasPorts Chief Executive Officer Anthony Donald said the response from the union has been “disappointing”.
“The response to return to protected action is extremely disappointing.
“We acknowledge and look forward to the next round of meetings, which will be facilitated by the FWC and trust that a common-sense outcome is achieved. Whereby further economic and reputational impact to our customers, communities, tourism and the State is avoided.”
The Australian Maritime Officers Union has also commented, outlining the reasons for the union’s disappointment.
“We contend that the ongoing industrial disputation should be viewed as TasPorts not being able to adequately manage their own industrial relations landscape, rather than an effort on our part to inconvenience the people of our island-state.
“Safe and efficient marine pilotage is integral to the functioning of our state, and we therefore wish to resume meaningful negotiations as soon as possible in an attempt to minimise unnecessary interruption to Tasmanian businesses and communities.”