Australian Port Workers Conduct Trade Union-Supported Extensive Strikes Over Wage Disputes in October


Australian harbor workers will be the latest group to strike nationwide over wage disputes that could affect Christmas deliveries, following previous strikes by truck drivers and parcel delivery workers. ..

Patrick Terminals, a container terminal operator, and the Australian Maritime Union (MUA) have been in extensive wage negotiations since February 2020.

But the debate boiled after workers rejected Patrick’s offer to raise his salary by 2.5% year-on-year over the last four years.

Patrick was informed that hundreds of wharf workers would strike in Port Botany, Sydney next weekend for 24 hours.

While in Melbourne, there are 12 hours of strikes every Monday, Wednesday and Friday throughout October.

Patrick CEO Michael Jovicic called MUA’s actions “embarrassing,” and industrial actions did not take into account the daily suffering of Australians affected by blockades, restrictions and unemployment.

“We have negotiated with the MUA for over 19 months, provided a very generous salary increase, ensured no redundancy, and provided a commitment to staying in the job,” said Jovicic. .. statement.. “They are obviously not going to reach an agreement. They just want to do the most damage to the company and the economy.”

They say that more than 40% of all Australian container cargo passes through Patrick Terminal and the impact of the strike affects all Australians.

Shipping Australia, an industry group, said union-led turmoil would have a negative impact on everyday Australians given the importance of freight, shipping and ports.

They estimated that industrial activity, excluding fuel, could exceed US $ 101,000 (A $ 138,900) per day.

“Obviously, this is a crisis for the Australian economy and more than 99% of our cargo depends on sea transport,” said Shipping Australia CEO. Melwyn Noronha said..

“Australia’s freight transport is calling on unions to be binding during the COVID-19 pandemic and urges the federal government to include a review of waterfront labor relations.”

Jamie Newlin, MUA’s assistant national secretary, said in a statement that Patrick claimed to lose market share despite profits from price cuts through terminal access charges and other shipping charges. Told to.

“Highly productive, Protected Industrial Action is a last resort for signing contracts that are almost 18 months old,” says Newlyn. “Patrick employees are naturally dissatisfied with the company’s tactics of refusing to raise moderate salaries and removing agreed terms for safe work.”

Mr Newlin said negotiations broke down as Patricks insisted on unacceptable changes in the workforce, including increased casualization that threatened job security.

“If the CEO hadn’t intervened in the Port Botany negotiations, a local agreement would have been reached,” Newlin said.

Rebecca Chu