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HUTCHISON Ports Australia and the Maritime Union of Australia have reached a workplace agreement for its Sydney and Brisbane terminals after three years of negotiations.

A spokesperson for HPA confirmed it had reached an agreement in principle with the MUA for a new enterprise bargaining agreement.

“The company now looks forward to the next step of a vote on the agreement, after which it hopes that the agreement can be lodged for approval by the Fair Work Commission in coming weeks,” the spokesperson said.

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According to the union, workers will receive five 2.5% wage increases over the four-year agreement once certified by the Fair Work Commission.

The union also said the agreement would see the introduction of 20 days paid domestic violence leave, the creation of permanent rosters, and the addition of a clause that gives the workforce the ability to find alternatives to redundancies in the event of an economic downturn.

MUA deputy national secretary Warren Smith said the negotiations had been among the hardest seen in the industry.

“This agreement will see job security strengthened at the terminals, with protection against job losses due to the implementation of automation, technology and contractors, along with a move to address insecure work with a cap on casual employees and an emphasis on rostered permanents and guarantee workers,” Mr Smith said.

“The introduction of 20 days paid domestic violence leave is a significant victory that will reduce the financial hardship suffered by people dealing with the challenges of violence in the home.”

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