TALKS are to resume between the Maritime Union and Hutchison Port Holdings this Wednesday in an effort to resolve a damaging industrial row.

The Maritime Union has implemented work bans in Sydney and Brisbane over what it sees as an unreasonable offer surrounding wages and conditions for its members at the two terminals.

Hutchison made an unsuccessful effort last week to block the work bans in the Fair Work Commission.

Transport industry sources told Daily Cargo News that disruption in Brisbane had been minimal and “everything is running smoothly”. In contrast, the situation in Sydney was described as “a complete mess” with delays for some transport operators.

Hutchison declined to comment on these reports.

However, the company has said in recent times that it requires “a more flexible workforce to improve its economic position and keep people employed”.

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MUA assistant national secretary Warren Smith said efforts by Hutchison to cut pay and conditions of Australian workers left them with no choice but to take industrial action.

“If Hutchison gets its way, waterfront workers would be left 26% worse off in retirement based on the company’s planned cuts to their superannuation entitlements,” he said.

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