DP World faces trouble down under

01 Oct 2014
Operations at DP World's Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane terminals will be 'threatened' by MUA action this week

Operations at DP World's Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane terminals will be 'threatened' by MUA action this week

DP World Australia is facing industrial action at its east coast terminals this week from the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) in support of their Enterprise Agreement demands.

The global terminal operator’s Sydney terminal faces disruptions today, while Melbourne and Brisbane terminals will be affected tomorrow (Thursday 2 October) and Friday 3 October. DP World says this will result in each port losing 12 hours, but it will be “structured” differently in each terminal.

In a statement released earlier this week, DP World said it “strongly disagrees with this action and believes it is neither required nor deserved”. It went on to say “this action is disruptive to our customers and to the broader transport and logistics industry, which depend on efficient and reliable waterside operation through our terminals”.

It is understood the two parties have been in negotiations since January, with MUA rejecting the company’s offers for east coast workers, which have included wage increases and changes to existing conditions. The union, which is said to be pushing for 4% annual wage increases, argues this would only lead to more uncertainty.

Things also got heated in August 2014 at DP World’s Fremantle container terminal, where the company had threatened to lock out workers indefinitely and sub-contract vessel handling to rival Patrick, if a planned four-hour walkout had gone ahead.

Now, DP World is urging the MUA to withdraw its “threat” of protected action and return to the negotiating table.

DP World declined to comment further on the situation.

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