Thursday, March 1, 2012

NSW: Manly ferry services suspended by work bans

NSW: Manly ferry services suspended by work bans

By Natalie Davison

SYDNEY, April 29 AAP - Engineers on Sydney ferries have not ruled out further industrialaction over a superannuation dispute.

Jetcat and ferry services between Manly and Circular Quay were suspended today afterengineers imposed a 24-hour ban on services.

The Australian Institute of Marine and Power Engineers (AIMPE) called for the ban aftertalks on a new enterprise agreement broke down on Saturday.

The dispute went to the Australian Industrial Relations Commission (AIRC) today butno orders were issued to lift the bans.

Commissioner Peter Lawson said it seemed the union's concern about how superannuationbenefits were calculated had been "a festering sore" for five years.

State Transit denied the claim and said it believed there could be an outcome to thedispute within a week.

But the AIMPE refused to give any undertaking that no further industrial action wouldbe carried out if the matter was not resolved.

"I don't propose to telegraph our punches in the media," state secretary Andrew Williamsonsaid outside the commission.

Mr Williamson said the concern about superannuation benefits had been there for fiveyears and today's bans was the first industrial action over the issue.

The superannuation dispute had also been part of litigation in the Chief IndustrialMagistrate's Court, but the matter was stood over to allow for further talks.

A fleet of buses today took commuters between Manly and Circular Quay, with ferry servicesto be restored at 6am (AEST) tomorrow.

State Transit said 2,500 commuters had been moved by bus during the morning peak.

"There were some hitches in traffic with transit lanes during the peak, but we're talkingwith police to get the bus lanes more closely monitored during the afternoon peak," aspokesman said.

AAP nd/arb/hu/bwl


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