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THE Maritime Union of Australia has spoken out against an employee performance data dashboard system that DP World Australia has recently rolled out.

According to a DP World Australia spokesperson, the company has been working on a method to present information about performance on key points of work in a meaningful way to employees. The spokesperson said the information was shared with employees on an individual basis last week.

“Employees were provided with a dashboard, which shows the key skills that they are trained in and how their performance ranks against the site average and against their peers. This data is designed to give employees transparency about their average performance over a period of time,” the spokesperson said.

They said he performance dashboard uses metrics from the company’s equipment across multiple sources and in many cases, the machines send back data sets about physical in-location movement, frequency/duration of interactions, quality of interactions and active/idle time monitoring.

However, the MUA expressed “gravely held concerns” about the implementation of the “reckless benchmarking system”.

MUA assistant national secretary Adrian Evans said pushing workers to focus on speed instead of safety while operating high-risk machinery is guaranteed to deliver tragedy, not productivity.

“DP World want to pit worker against worker in an attempt to foster a speed-culture on the waterfront that will inevitably place safety a distant second in some of the highest-risk working environments in Australia,” Mr Evans said.

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MUA national safety and training officer Justin Timmins said nothing is more important than going home safely at the end of a shift.

“The push to pit worker against worker in a never-ending speed trial on the Australian waterfront will only end in tragedy,” he said.

“Right now, New Zealand ports management are being prosecuted for a spate of workplace deaths on the Kiwi waterfront, all of which started with a similar race to the bottom on safety.”

The DP World spokesperson said the company “rejects entirely the characterisation that this pits workers against one another”.

“The movement of containerised cargo at a terminal involves a team of people work together on shifts across different equipment. This data shows how an operator of particular equipment contributes to the performance over multiple shifts across a defined period of time,” the spokesperson said.

“Consistent with modern HR practices, holding a performance discussion with employees to support continued productivity is a fairly usual activity in most organisations.”

The spokesperson said each employee should be proud of the contributions they make each time they operate a piece of equipment.

“This data provides our employees with objective information to enable development and their sense of achievement,” they said.

“There are no safety concerns raised by the distribution of data to people. We will continue to expect employees follow all safety protocols in conducting their work. Providing a safe workplace and a workplace which embraces the notion of zero harm remains critical to the success of our operations. We reject any assertions around prioritising profit over the lives of our employees.”

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