THE Federal Court of Australia has granted DP World Australia an interim injunction stopping industrial action.
DPWA chief operating officer Andrew Adam said the order meant it was business as usual at the terminals, however, the move has angered the Maritime Union which described the move as “an alarming attack on democratic rights”.
DPWA sought the injunction against action by the MUA on the grounds one of the union’s claims in enterprise bargaining was not permitted under the Fair Work Act 2009.
The interim interlocutory injunction is to remain in effect until the final determination in mid-March.
The court order prevents more than 1800 workers employed at DPWA container terminals in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Fremantle from taking any form of legally protected industrial action until 13 March.
DPWA chief operating officer said the decision meant it was “business as usual” at the terminals and customers could be assured of no disruption.
The MUA said the decision should send a shudder down the spine of all working Australians.
MUA assistant national secretary Warren Smith said the Federal Court decision was just the latest in a long list of aggressive moves by DPWA at forcing workers to accept management’s demands for a new workplace agreement.
“This injunction doesn’t just prevent wharfies from taking legally protected industrial action, it is an alarming attack on democratic rights that will give companies open slather to strip all Australian workers of long held workplace conditions, which will effectively mean reduced standards of living for all,” Mr Smith said.
But Mr Adam said the union statement was an attempt to distract CFMMEU members’ attention from their mismanagement of bargaining for new enterprise agreements at DPWA terminals.