SVITZER tug engineers are to down tools on Thursday (28 October) for four hours at Kwinana/Fremantle, Melbourne and Brisbane.

The Australian Institute of Marine and Power Engineers notified the company of the work stoppages after its protected action ballot order was voted up by members.

Svitzer said the work stoppages would impact shipping. It said the stoppages would necessitate adjustment of towage schedules at the ports affected.

A spokesperson for Svitzer Australia said the company remains committed to bargaining in good faith to secure a new enterprise agreement that “maintains AIMPE members’ salaries and excellent working conditions while putting the business on a sustainable footing”.

“It is disappointing the union has chosen to take this action rather than bargaining with Svitzer on a new agreement for its members,” the spokesperson said.

“We simply ask the unions to bring their efforts to bargaining so we can reach an agreement to create stability for the business, our employees and customers.”

The Svitzer spokesperson said the company has reduced its claims to six key items, which “do not go after crews’ high salaries or even-time roster and are aimed at improving flexibility, reducing fixed costs and maintaining our competitiveness”.

Below are the details of the work stoppages – all are scheduled for 28 October.

  • Kwinana and Fremantle: four-hour stoppage from 0700 to 1100
  • Melbourne: Four-hour stoppage from 1200 to 1600
  • Brisbane: Four-hour stoppage from 0800 to 1200

AIMPE has been contacted for comment.