The Maritime Union of Australia has today advised the Federal Court that it will write to the International Transport Workers Federation withdrawing any call for the ITF and its affiliates to engage in boycott conduct of ships loaded with non-MUA labour in Australia between 7 April and 10 May 1998. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has advised the Court that this withdrawal addresses some of the concerns of the ACCC.
The ACCC's counsel, Mr John Trew, QC, has advised the Court that it has had concerns at the apparent ongoing communication between the MUA, the ITF and its affiliates which in the context of the international boycott of ships suggests the ongoing involvement of the MUA in the alleged boycotts of non-MUA loaded ships. The ACCC has advised the Court that it is prepared for the matter to be adjourned and to see whether the MUA's withdrawal is effective.
The ACCC sought interim orders from the Court to remove the alleged MUA request for and involvement in international boycotts of those Australian ships because of its concern for the effect on Australian business of such boycotts.
The ACCC will be actively monitoring the MUA's activities in this area and the matter will now proceed to a final hearing of the ACCC's claim for substantive relief. Justice North congratulated the parties on reaching a practical resolution of difficult issues at this time.
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