PORTS and Harbour Services has announced a halt in its ship mooring services at Port Botany, following a fierce campaign against it by the Maritime Union and its members.

In a statement to customers, PHS general manager Mark Rigoni said that since they began operations on 21 September they were “immediately subjected to a series of pickets by the MUA and its members”.

“In the face of the pickets we were unable to guarantee safety to our workers and as a result we cannot provide a service to shipping,” Mr Rigoni wrote.

“For this reason, we are looking at a temporary pause in the service.”

Hot off the press… Port and Harbour Services have suspended all service in Port of Botany!!! Who's port? Our port!!!!

Posted by Ausport botany rank and file on Monday, 28 September 2020

A union spokesperson said the MUA would “always defend the hard working women and men in the maritime community”.

“Any employer that seeks to attack our community can expect that MUA members will mount a spirited defense,” the spokesperson said.

“We sincerely hope that this spells an end to the aggressive campaign by Ports and Harbour Services to undermine pay and conditions on Port Botany.”

PHS has argued all along that they are merely bringing in competition to line mooring at Port Botany, however, the union has argued PHS is in effect a phoenix operation.