Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) members at Patrick Stevedores in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Fremantle will take protected industrial action following more than 18 months of negotiations over a new enterprise agreement (EA).
MUA Assistant National Secretary Jamie Newlyn said management at Patrick had made a series of exaggerated and untrue claims about the breakdown of talks over a new agreement and instead of suggesting Christmas was at risk, the company should stop trying to alarm the public.
“The truth is there is ample capacity for other stevedoring companies on the Australian waterfront to load and unload cargo and we don’t accept that there is any threat that imported goods will be in short supply due to the commencement of protected industrial action by our members,” Mr Newlyn said.
Mr Newlyn said Patrick had claimed they would “roll-over” the existing EA but had insisted on changes that their workforce would not accept including increased casualisation that would limit future secure employment opportunities.
Despite claiming a loss of market share, Patrick are recording record profits by price gouging through Terminal Access Charges and other shipping fees which are adding to the cost of goods for customers and Australian consumers.”
“Productivity is at a high and Protected Industrial Action is a last resort to finalise an agreement that is almost 18 months past expiry.”
“Patrick employees are rightly frustrated at corporate tactics to deny a modest pay rise and remove previously agreed conditions on secure jobs.”
“Had the CEO not intervened in the Port Botany bargaining, agreement would have been reached locally.”
Mr Newlyn said instead of engaging in exaggerated PR ‘spin’ Patrick should return to the bargaining table and conclude a fair and equitable agreement with its workforce.