Wednesday 13th Dec, 2017

Time to ‘come clean’, VICT boss tells picket organisers

Photo: David Sexton
Photo: David Sexton

VICTORIA International Container Terminal chief executive, Anders Dommestrup, says it is time union officials came clean with Webb Dock picketers.

Demonstrators assembled in the early hours of Monday last week and Mr Dommestrup said they had been “set up to fail”.

“It’s time (officials) told the picketers that their time and effort are wasted,” Mr Dommestrup said.

“It’s time the officials abandon the picket, allow VICT staff back on site, stop preventing trucks entering and leaving the site and permit Victoria’s importers and exporters to start doing business.”

Mr Dommestrup said the MUA was party to VICT’s enterprise agreement, meaning they approved it.

“VICT is ready to resume the business growth to which we are committed and we will be doing all we can to restore the faith in the Port of Melbourne that a small number of union officials have irresponsibly and shamelessly damaged,” he said.

The MUA has denied being involved with the picket, attributing it to the Port Melbourne community.

Deputy national secretary Will Tracey also argued a casual worker had been denied shifts after taking legal action against a manager on bullying grounds.

But Mr Dommestrup said the worker had started as a casual employee on November 28, 2016, and applied for a Maritime Security Identification Card in February 2017.

According to VICT, he was told in March he had failed to gain an MSIC and informed VICT of this in November 2017, after which VICT informed him he would no longer be offered shifts due to these circumstances.

“As it stands, the person concerned simply cannot be employed at VICT,” Mr Dommestrup said.

He said the picketers had been “damaging Victoria’s reputation as a reliable trading partner and giving Sydney’s Port Botany a competitive leg-up”.

Unions are understood to be planning a rally at Webb Dock for this Friday morning.

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