THE Maritime Union of Australia has given notice of work stoppages for Svitzer crews at ports around the country.

MUA members are to stop work for four hours at various time at different ports on Tuesday 9 November.

At Albany, Fremantle, Geraldton and Kwinana, crews will stop work for four hours from 0730 through to 1130 local time.

At Adelaide, Port Pirie and Spencer Gulf, crews will start their four-hour work stoppage at 1000 through 1400 local time.

In Melbourne, WesternPort, Eden, Newcastle, Port Kembla and Sydney, crews will stop work for four hours starting at 1030 through 1430 local time.

And in Brisbane and far-north Queensland (including Cairns and Mourilyan), crews will stop work from 0930 through 1330 local time.

Svitzer said it would review schedules and crewing requirements to avoid or minimise disruption. The towage company said it has been negotiating for a new EA since September 2019, and since October 2020, the MUA has issued a total of 43 notices of protected industrial action in Svitzer’s ports around Australia.

The company said it has put a proposed enterprise agreement to its employees, to be voted on next week.

A spokesperson for Svitzer said the company’s proposed offer provides “stability and certainty” for employees, while increasing members’ “generous” salaries and maintaining core conditions.

“The proposed agreement still falls well short of Svitzer’s commercial needs to enable it to effectively compete,” the spokesperson said.

“Despite, the modest improvements on existing arrangements in the proposed agreement, the MUA continues to pursue its agenda with more industrial action.”

The spokesperson said Svitzer had continued to bargain in good faith with unions since negotiations commenced more than two years ago.

“In that time, we have held close to 50 intensive negotiation meetings, involving more than 20 union representatives in most sessions, with 17 sessions this year alone,” the spokesperson said.

“Now is not the time for further protected industrial action with Australian ports already under great pressure in the lead up to the festive season.”

The MUA has not responded to a request for comment.