DP World’s Australian operations hit by strikes
by Neil Halligan
DP World’s port operations in Sydney and Melbourne have been hit with work stoppages, with further strike action planned for Freemantle and Brisbane.
The strike action has been taken over a dispute about a new pay deal, with DP World negotiating with the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) since January on a new enterprise bargaining agreement.
The union has so far rejected the company’s offers, which have included wage increases in line with inflation and changes to existing conditions, including new roster systems and the removal of 'picnic days'.
The union has argued that the proposed changes will lead to more uncertainty for workers, and that DP World has not catered for the introduction of automation at its container terminals in its proposed agreements. The union is also seeking a four percent increase in annual wage.
The first stoppage took place in Sydney on Wednesday, with further stoppages planned for Melbourne today (Thursday) and Brisbane on Friday. A similar stoppage took place in Fremantle in July this year.
In statement, the UAE-based ports operator said: “DP World Australia strongly disagrees with this action and believes it is neither required nor deserved.
“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.
“DP World Australia believes both parties would be better served to continue negotiations in good faith. We urge the MUA to withdraw their threat of protected action and return to the negotiating table.”