‘Damaging’ port strikes at DP World Australia terminals extended

Source: The Loadstar  
Date: 9th January 2023

Dockers affiliated with the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) have extended their strike action at DP World terminals nationwide.

Operations at its terminals in Brisbane, Fremantle, Melbourne and Sydney will face disruption until 15 January.

Maersk warned it won’t receive or deliver cargo at Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane’s port gates from 8th January at 6 am until midnight 9th January.

This will be repeated from Thursday at 10 pm until Saturday at 6 am at Melbourne and Sydney, and from midnight Friday until 7 am Saturday in Brisbane.

DP World Oceania EVP said industries such as meat, agriculture and retail have been faced with spoiled produce and significant financial losses.

According to Shipping Australia, DP World has estimated that the industrial action is costing the Australian economy A$84m (US$56m) every week – A$1.34bn since October.

It said there are more than 44,000 containers stalled at ports, which will take between two and eight weeks to clear once the industrial action ends.

Shipping Australia CEO said: “This industrial action by the waterfront union during a cost-of-living crisis is destructive and harmful. The waterfront unions should stop holding Australia to ransom during this crisis, which is so hurting everyday Australian families.

“By limiting the efficiency of supply chains, the waterfront union is causing severe harm to the Australian economy and is therefore putting numerous Australian jobs and livelihoods of Australian families at risk.”

According to Australian Transport News, the MUA walked away from negotiations with DP World in December, demanding a 27.5% pay rise on salaries that are averaging around A$130,000.

DP World has since called for the workplace minister to intervene to end the dispute, a call backed by multiple shipping stakeholders in Australia.

Ports Australia CEO said: “The Australian federal government needs to intervene and bring everyone to the table to resolve this dispute in a timely and efficient manner for the continued prosperity of Australian businesses and communities.”

Shipping Australia concluded: “It is time for the Minister to show leadership on this issue, to demonstrate that he cares about Australian families, and to step in and end the dispute.”

Since October, port workers in Australia have been demanding better pay and working conditions from port operator DP World.

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