STEVEDORE DPWA has released a statement confirming further industrial action at its container terminals as the dispute between it and the Maritime Union over a new enterprise agreement remains unresolved.
The announcement of further actions has attracted criticism in some quarters, however, with suggestion the union’s tactics are inappropriate as Victoria, in particular, battles the COVID-19 scourge.
“Since our previous advice of 28 July, we regret the Maritime Union of Australia has given further notice to DP World Australia of Protected Industrial Action at DPWA terminals, encompassing work restrictions and additional stoppages,” the company stated.
“The effect of the work restrictions varies across terminal and includes various bans on employees working in tasks above their normal grade, overtime, shift extensions, accepting late call-ins and ceasing advanced or delayed start times.
“DPWA management regrets the impact this has on our customers’ business and we appreciate your patience.”
DPWA said it remained “committed to reaching a new enterprise agreement that delivers improved productivity, and we will keep you updated as we progress”.
Comment has been sought from the union.
A representative of one logistics company told DCN that the protected industrial action was “severely impacting our ability to access containers”.
Victorian Transport Association chief executive Peter Anderson criticised the MUA’s tactics.
“Once again the MUA has shown how out of step it is with the community and is proving that its leadership is appalling,” he said.
“With all Victorians suffering through the COVID pandemic, those port workers are taking advantage of all Victorians who will suffer from their actions.”
ALC chief executive Kirk Coningham was also critical.
“The MUA’s disruptive tactics are the last thing the community needs at a time when our supply chains are experiencing unprecedented pressures and challenges as a result of COVID-19,” Mr Coningham said.
“The situation currently facing freight and logistics operators – particularly in Victoria – is difficult enough without the added impost, confusion and disruption caused by industrial action.”