CONTAINER terminals run by DPWA are this week set to be hit with protected industrial action by the Maritime Union division of the CFMMEU.

The stevedore has argued successfully in recent weeks in the Federal Court of Australia the notice period for protected action be increased from three days (the default period in the Fair Work Act 2009) to five days due to “exceptional circumstances”.

The “exceptional circumstances” argued by DP World was the time required to organise alternative stevedoring arrangements for affected ships.

Counter applications by the CFMMEU were quashed.

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DPWA has confirmed Brisbane terminal operations will be stopped for 48-hours from 6am Monday, Melbourne for 48-hours from 6am Wednesday and Sydney and Fremantle for 48-hours from 6am (local times) Thursday.

Container Transport Alliance Australia director Neil Chambers said it was possible this was the start  of significant disruptions at DP World terminals unless the parties were able to finalise their enterprise agreement negotiations.

“No doubt DP World will be working to try to diminish the impact of these stoppages on their shipping line clients, and on landside operations,” Mr Chambers said.

“Inevitably however, containers will become stranded inside DP World terminals this week.” Mr Chambers said customers should keep an eye on vessel schedules and availability times.

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