Following 10 months of consistent debate with DP World regarding the negotiation of a new enterprise bargaining agreement that would see increased permanency and job security for its union members, the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) is to take protected action against the terminal operator.
According to a statement on its website: “MUA will begin light protected industrial action at DP World terminals in Melbourne, Sydney and Fremantle on Thursday due to the company’s insistence on taking away of penalty rates, increasing hours of work and their failure to adequately re-shape the workforce with the introduction of automation.”
According to gCaptain, relations have since become hostile between both organisations, with an MUA Assistant National Secretary Warren Smith saying: “Trust among workers is at an all-time low.”
By the end of December, DP World will lay off 12 full-time workers at its Fremantle cargo facility due to the continuation of automation, reducing the workforce from 200 to 40.
Warren Smith concluded: “This dispute isn’t about money – it is about hours of work, job security, and automation of the waterfront with no fair redundancy provisions in place when hundreds of workers will get the sack.
“The proposals we have put to the company around automation deal with the manner in which automation is negotiated and introduced. Our main demands around automation are job-saving reductions in hours of work; and job security.
“We are also seeking transparency about automation plans in the future and dignified arrangements for those that will have to exit the industry and fairness in the approach to that process.”
DP World and Australia in Automation Union Tussle. (Source: Construction Week Online)