MARINE pilots working for TasPorts have voted in favour of taking industrial action against the corporation.

Participating pilots (14 out of an eligible 15), represented by the Australian Maritime Officers Union, voted 100% in favour of a series of work stoppages and bans outlined in a protected action ballot order filed by the union last year.

The Fair Work Commission approved the ballot on 19 December, initiating a voting period which closed on Friday 12 January.

Participating pilots voted in favour of an unlimited number of one-hour, four-hour, eight-hour and 24-hour work stoppages.

They also voted in support of an unlimited number of work stoppages on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays.

Pilots also voted in favour of several work bans, including:

  • an unlimited number of bans or limitations on conducting any work outside usual rostered hours;
  • an unlimited number of bans on the performance of work when a vessel’s pilot boarding time is changed within 12 hours of that vessel’s scheduled boarding time;
  • an unlimited number of bans or limitations on communication with agents and schedulers, except in the case of emergencies; and
  • an unlimited number of bans or limitations on the performance of pilotage services at night, except in the case of emergencies.

All forms of industrial action, including work stoppages, bans and limitations, may be organised or arranged in consecutive periods.

TasPorts and the AMOU have been negotiating an enterprise agreement for the pilotage workforce since June 2023.

A spokesperson for the union has previously told DCN the pilots are seeking competitive pilotage rates and renumeration.

TasPorts CEO Anthony Donald said TasPorts was “disappointed” with the result of the ballot.

“The terms and conditions proposed in the enterprise agreement would continue to see TasPorts’ pilots remunerated competitively for utilisation and recognises their high level of skill and experience,” he said.

“Our pilots play a key role in safekeeping our ports and maintaining reliable and optimal operations.

“While the ballot result is disappointing, we remain committed to securing an outcome that is fair and responsible.”

Mr Donald said TasPorts’ aim is to maintain safe and reliable service.

“TasPorts will liaise directly with customers and put in place mitigating measures to ensure any impact caused by any proposed industrial action is minimal,” he said.

“We will also continue to negotiate in good faith.”

The AMOU is planning its next steps following the outcome of the ballot.