DP World Australia Faces Strike Action
Container terminals managed by DP World Australia are set for delays and increased turnaround times as stevedores with the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) prepare to strike.
Workers at DP World Brisbane, DP World Fremantle, DP World Melbourne and DP World Sydney have been granted approval from the Fair Work Commission to hold a ballot allowing protected strike action after DP World said it would cancel a union-backed income protection scheme.
“Wharfies working at container terminals in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Fremantle are outraged after management at DP World Australia — the largest stevedore in the country — moved to strip them of income protection insurance unless they accepted the company’s demands,” stated the MUA.
However, the FWC also imposed a requirement that workers provide management five-day notice before going on strike, a decision which the MUA is appealing.
If strike action goes ahead, up to 1800 stevedores could withdraw labour in a move which could affect ship schedules as well as onsite operations.
According to The Australian, DP World accused the maritime union of threatening “spurious” industrial action, stating the current enterprise agreement, which is near expiry yet to be renegotiated, obliged it to discontinue the income protection scheme on 28 February.
DP World said it would give employees a 2% salary rise from 1 March, which workers could use to pay for income protection themselves, a practice that operated before 2015, reported The Australian.
During negotiations from 4-6 February, MUA rejected a proposal to maintain the existing income protection scheme arrangements and give workers a 2.6% pay rise if the union agreed to rollover the existing enterprise agreement and withdraw all its bargaining claims, including a ban on casuals, against DP World.
Port Strategy has contacted DP World for comment.
Source: Port Strategy