TWO hundred wharfies at DPWA Fremantle container terminal have stopped work for 24-hours, accusing the company of failing to bargain in good faith.

The strike, which started on Sunday night, is to be followed by further actions including rolling stoppages that are to see every worker down tools for the final hour of each shift, along with work bans.

The strike at Fremantle is set to be followed with action at DPWA terminals in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

The Maritime Union (part of the CFMMEU) has accused the company of allowing negotiations for a new workplace agreement to drag on for more than 15 months.

But the company says the union is at fault for having blocked an “in-principle agreement”.


“Wharfies at DP World’s Fremantle terminal are simply fed up after attempting to negotiate a new workplace agreement for 15 months,” MUA West Coast branch secretary Christy Cain said.

“What we’ve seen in that time is the senior management of the Dubai-based company issue ultimatums, threaten massive job cuts, and attempt to unilaterally strip away workplace rights.”

DPWA chief operating office, terminals, Andrew Adam, said the CFMMEU protected industrial action (PIA) came at a time when the union had blocked an in-principle agreement reached between DPWA and nominated employee bargaining representatives on 17 October 2019.

“In addition to the withdrawal from the IPA, the union has presented new claims which are unacceptable to DPWA,” Mr Adam said.

“Without withdrawal of the new claims and PIA, it is not possible for DPWA to progress to a new agreement.”