WORKERS employed by stevedore DP World Australia are a step closer to going on strike.

In a statement released this week, the Maritime Union said it had been granted approval from the Fair Work Commission to hold a ballot allowing protected strike action.

Last week, DCN reported on how the MUA was to hold a ballot for “protected action”, the latest development appearing to be a step up.

The union and the company are seeking to negotiate a new enterprise bargaining agreement, with a particular sticking point proving to be income protection insurance.

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MUA national secretary Paddy Crumlin said the union negotiating committee was left with no option but to escalate this dispute and seek an immediate ballot for protected industrial action.

“When management tells workers they must to do things their way or have their family’s social protection through income protection insurance terminated, it’s no longer a negotiation,” he said.

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