PROTECTED industrial action is underway at the Port Kembla Coal Terminal, with about 60 CFMEU members locked out for the duration of the action.
The Union notified PKCT that it would take PIA from 2pm on Sunday 7 January until midnight Wednesday in the midst of negotiations on a new enterprise agreement, which have been ongoing since April 2015. The lockout is to continue until 7pm on Thursday.
As of the morning of 9 January, there have been no disruptions to shipping, a PKCT spokesperson confirmed to Daily Cargo News.
CFMEU Mining and Energy south-west vice-president Bob Timbs said the Union was ready to sit down with PKCT and its shareholders to find a way forward.
“We know the coal companies are behind this move and we are calling on all those involved to step back and reflect on how to resolve this dispute rather than make matters worse,” he said.
PKCT is owned and operated by South 32, Glencore, Peabody energy, Centennial Coal and Wollongong Coal.
A PKCT spokesperson said an agreement must be reached immediately to ensure that the terminal can continue to deliver essential export services to the coal industry in New South Wales.
“There is so much at stake for the Port Kembla Coal Terminal – no one wins when industrial action is taken. PKCT’s business is at risk,” the spokesperson said.
PKCT has applied to the Fair Work Commission to end the current EA, but has continued with assisted bargaining.
The PKCT spokesperson said the Union walked out of the assisted bargaining session in late December, a move that was “extremely disappointing”.
“PKCT’s current EA offer is generous, fair and reasonable,” they said.
“Management continues to work with and support employees to inform them about the reality of the business and remains ready to discuss the benefits of the packaged offer anytime. The company remains committed to bargaining in good faith and needs reach an agreement as soon as possible.”