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News Update - DP World Terminals


The Maritime Union of Australia has declared further industrial action at DP World terminals in Australia, as negotiations for a new contract for port operations workers continue. DP World's terminals in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, and Fremantle have been informed of the industrial action. The work stoppages vary in duration, ranging from two hours to 24 hours, and include bans on various activities such as overtime, extensions, loading and unloading of trucks and trains, work on subcontracted vessels, and servicing trucks with a Qube logo.

The terminal workers have already commenced a period of industrial action, having given notice on 29 September for work stoppages and bans starting on 6 October. According to DP World, the ongoing industrial action by the MUA has already caused significant disruptions to their operations. The company stated that both road and rail landside services, as well as berthing arrangements, have been negatively affected by the industrial action. In response, DP World is actively searching for alternatives to ensure that their vessels are properly maintained, and their schedule commitments are met. The ban implemented by the CFMEU-MUA Department on October 6, 2023, has resulted in increased pressure on supply chains, leading to decreased service efficiency and impacting customers and households across Australia.

The company stated that it had always engaged in negotiations with good intentions. It claimed to have been flexible and willing to make appropriate concessions during corporate negotiations over the past six months. According to the company, their attempts to move forward in the EBA negotiations have been met with opposition. The most recent meeting with the MUA on September 27th and 28th, 2023 resulted in minimal progress, which is frustrating.

The company mentioned that further discussions are planned for October 17th-19th, 2023, but these meetings are contingent upon the CFMEU-MUA sector ending their protected industrial action. Not only has the union rejected this request, but they have also announced their intention to halt operations starting from October 15th, 2023, by tightening bans and implementing shutdowns.

The company expressed that if they were to agree to all the requests made by the union, it would lead to a substantial financial burden on their business. This would result in costs that cannot be recovered and would have negative effects on their customers, the supply chain in Australia, and ultimately the public. The company believes that their operations can be preserved without incurring these costs and limitations to remain competitive in the market. Although the company acknowledges the right to engage in industrial action, they regretfully stated that the current course of action will only have negative consequences. Workers will experience financial losses through lost wages, and the broader community will be affected by disruptions to business activities.

The DP International Stevedores' contracts came to an end, and it took two and a half years of negotiations until the employees finally voted in favour of the new business enterprise bargaining agreements in February 2021. This came after reaching an initial agreement in October 2020. The negotiations have been gradually winding down since late August 2020 when both parties agreed on a portion of the EBA.

The company mentioned that the economic action caused disruptions to berthing preparations and had a negative impact on landside services, including road and rail transportation.

Additionally, MUA said that during this time, Port Botany won't have any bus escorts available. Cargo care will also be exempt from this action, but only to the extent required for ongoing container monitoring. They acknowledge that this might be inconvenient and want to reassure us that they are making every effort to keep our services as unaffected as possible.

Once the action is finished, their top priority is to quickly resume normal operations. In support of and in response to additional claims made regarding a proposed Enterprise Agreement, the current employee action is being taken.


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