The two day strike, which began Monday morning in Brisbane, is the first in a series of 48 to 96 hour work stoppages planned for container terminals in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, and Fremantle. Sydney and Fremantle workers will strike this Thursday and Friday, and Melbourne will be out from Wednesday until Sunday morning.
The industrial action follows the expiry of a three month cease-fire agreement between DP World and the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA), "which saw the company press ahead with a savage agenda of job cuts and attacks on rights and conditions. Income protection for workers remains as a target of the company,"
The industrial action will cause significant disruption to DPWA customers and importantly the broader supply chain of shippers, exporters and importers. DPWA employees will also be unnecessarily and avoidably impacted by these lost earnings,
...said Andrew Adam, Chief Operating Officer at DPWA.
In an official statement, DPWA noted that, during the recent 12-week bargaining period, the Union did not make any material concessions to their initial 50 claims, while it refuses to acknowledge 'the commercial reality of the intense competition from automated competitors'.
The Company has put forward its position and the Union must now make appropriate concessions to their extensive list of claims,
...Mr Adam said.
Meanwhile, MUA said that DP World challenged its rights to use bans in the Fair Work Commission, and this restriction on utilising the legally protected bans has forced workers into strike action.
Unprecedented consolidation of, and changes to global shipping lines calling Australia, combined with surplus stevedoring capacity are contributing to DPWA’s challenging financial outlook, the company said.