PRIME Minister Scott Morrison has weighed into the waterfront industrial relations dispute, saying actions by the Maritime Union were “not on”.

The union has claimed that it has acted to ensure the supply of essentials and that delays are the fault of the stevedores, but the PM nonetheless had harsh words when speaking to the media.

“There are 40 ships and I’m told there’s some 90,000 containers out there that includes medical supplies,” Mr Morrison told the media.

“This is just extraordinary, appalling behaviour. And they as much as admitted it on morning television this morning … that is just straight-out extortion. That is reprehensible.

PM Scott Morrison addresses the media. References to the waterfront dispute are at 22.00. Credit: ABC and YouTube
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“We cannot have the militant end of the union movement effectively engaging in a campaign of extortion against the Australian people in the middle of a COVID-19 recession.”

Meanwhile Patrick has released information showing a worsening in delays at their terminals nationwide as MUA action continues.

A map showing the latest positions of ships associated with Patrick Terminals as of Tuesday afternoon. Credit: Patrick Terminals

According to Patrick, updated figures showed that Melbourne would be eleven days behind schedule by Friday this week, Sydney would be more than three weeks, Brisbane nine days behind and Fremantle three days behind.

The Maritime Union’s Paul McAleer was interviewed on the dispute on the Channel 9 Today Show on Tuesday morning.

A spokesperson for the Maritime Union said Patrick claims varied daily and lacked evidence.

Patrick Terminals has sought the intervention of the Fair Work Commission, with a private conference in Sydney on Wednesday and a full hearing on Thursday.

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