DP WORLD and the Maritime Union of Australia have reached an in-principle agreement at the Fair Work Commission, bringing months of protected industrial action to an end.

The agreement was announced on Friday (2 February) at the conclusion of three days of facilitated negotiations before the FWC.

It is still subject to endorsement by MUA members employed by DP World, but the union has confirmed DP World wharfies are returning to work with “the same enthusiasm, hard work and commitment that they have brought to their jobs over many years”.

The MUA began industrial action at DP World’s Australian terminals in October 2023 after negotiations for a new enterprise bargaining agreement collapsed.

The union said the new agreement is for a four-year term and delivers fair pay, safety and fatigue management measures, and provides job security and a fair work-life balance for Australian wharfies. It replaces an earlier agreement that expired in September 2023.

“The past fortnight has shown how quickly a fair and sustainable deal can be resolved once both the workforce and the employer are fully engaged in the negotiation process,” MUA assistant national secretary Adrian Evans said.

“The MUA sought to commence this process in March last year, well before the last agreement expired, so that a new agreement could be settled early and without disputation.”

Mr Evans said the union was pleased that the negotiation process has now concluded.

“Wharfies perform hard, physical work on a 24-hour, seven day working week, in all conditions and all seasons,” he said.

“They are amongst the hardest working, most productive and most flexible workforces in the Australian economic landscape” Mr Evans said.

DP World said the development came as “a relief to the logistics and shipping sectors”, promising stability and improved operations. 

“This agreement is a testament to our commitment to our workforce and to providing uninterrupted services to our customers,” DP World Oceania executive vice president Nicolaj Noes said.

“We are now focused on moving forward, restoring the supply chain operations, and working collaboratively with our employees to rebuild confidence among our customers and make a positive impact on the national economy.”