TASPORTS said marine pilots represented by the Australian Maritime Officers Union are launching further industrial action this weekend, with potential impacts for 15 vessels scheduled to call the ports.
A statement issued by TasPorts on indicates the marine pilots will set in motion indefinite work stoppages on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays beginning this Sunday (28 January) at 1200.
Pilots will also commence a ban on conducting any work outside usual rostered hours, beginning at 0600 on Monday (29 January), according to the statement.
TasPorts said the industrial action would have initial consequences for 15 vessels carrying 6000 tonnes of mining concentrates, 61,000 tonnes of forestry products and 10,000 tonnes of industrial exports.
The stoppages and bans would also impact 5000 passengers on small/expedition ships and three domestic and international Antarctic scientific programs.
As per the list of work bans and work stoppages approved by the Fair Work Commission, the planned stoppages and bans have exemptions for emergencies.
TasPorts pilots, represented by the AMOU, have been taking protected industrial action against their employer since Friday 19 January.
This next wave of industrial action is in addition to existing bans on performing pilotage services at night and on communicating with agents and schedulers.
AMOU has also previously announced the pilots intend to stop work for four-hour periods on Thursday (25 January), commencing at 0500 in the state’s north and at 1500 in the south and northwest.
TasPorts CEO Anthony Donald said the escalation in protected industrial action followed the latest round of negotiations between the ports corporation and the union.
He said pilots were offered, in addition to a 12% salary increase over three years (5%, 3.5% and 3.5%), maintenance of their current vehicle provisions over the course of the agreement, including a $47,500 vehicle for full private use and fuel, after they “rejected” the company’s position to adopt electric vehicles.
“While TasPorts respects the pilots’ rights to take protected industrial action, we specifically sought to offer the pilots the opportunity to retain their existing vehicle conditions in an attempt to prevent further escalation, which we know will have a devastating impact to our customers, community and the economy,” he said.
“The response from the AMOU to escalate protected industrial action is of great concern and disappointment, and we call on the union to meet as a matter of urgency to resolve this matter.
“TasPorts appreciates the positive support it is receiving from customers and we remain focused and committed on working with them on alternative solutions to minimise the impact wherever we can.”
Mr Donald said TasPorts is working to identify alternative solutions and mitigating strategies.
“TasPorts is focused on safe and reliable operations and is deeply concerned the threat of escalating action directly undermines this and has urged the AMOU to continue negotiations with a view to achieving a fair and reasonable outcome.”
The AMOU has been contacted for comment.