The industrial commission has ordered about 200 wharfies back to work at the Henderson waterfront in a dispute that has held up a shipment for Chevron's Gorgon project.
Fair Work Australia yesterday granted an application by stevedoring company Patrick to declare an illegal stoppage over the waterside workers' refusal to load a foreign-crewed vessel because of safety concerns.
FWA found there was no substance to the Maritime Union of Australia's claims and ordered all wharfies back to work immediately.
The workers have also been banned from taking industrial action for two months.
The union made the complaint after the heavy lift ship Rolldock Sun arrived at Henderson on June 22 for the first of six voyages to Barrow Island.
"It's an absolutely disgusting decision," MUA State secretary Chris Cain said. "We're carrying out Chevron's own policy. We stopped work because of that and now they're saying it's an illegal action. You never win in the commission in respect to that, even when you've got genuine safety cases, they say it's industrial action."
The union had initially complained that use of the Rolldock Sun and its foreign crew deprived Australian seafarers of work. Mr Cain denied the safety complaints were a union tactic to hold up the ship.
Union officials were considering their next move.The MUA plans to fly an aerial banner past Patersons Stadium during today's AFL fixture calling on Chevron to support local jobs and content.
'The West Australian' is a trademark of West Australian Newspapers Limited 2013.
All rights reserved.
Select your state to see news for your area.