TOLL Australia has been hit with industrial action, with the Maritime Union confirming a 24-hour stoppage starting noon on Friday February 21.

This stoppage is being followed by an indefinite ban on all overtime when wharfies return to work at midday on Saturday.

In a statement, the company said it had been notified by the MUA (part of the CFMMEU) that it planned to take industrial action.

“To minimise the disruption caused by the MUA action, it has been necessary for Toll to proactively cancel some container movements during this period,” the company stated.

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“We are contacting customers who are impacted by these cancellations to provide options for alternative scheduling arrangements. Customers are advised to contact their Toll account managers for more information.”

Toll said it would be doing “everything possible” to get their customers moving again with minimum disruption.

A Toll spokesperson told Daily Cargo news they had offered an enterprise agreement outcome providing for “significantly enhanced” terms and conditions for employees at Webb Dock.

“It is therefore disappointing that the MUA has decided to take this course, which will cost Tasmanians, our employees and our customers,” the spokesperson said.

“We are working closely with our customers to provide alternative scheduling and will be doing everything possible to minimise disruption.”

MUA deputy national secretary Will Tracey said they were disappointed industrial action had become necessary, “but after six months of negotiations the workforce is frustrated that they have been unable to finalise an agreement”.

“Workers have also been frustrated by the dysfunctional approach to negotiations by Toll, which is reflected in their general approach to managing the terminal,” Mr Tracey said.

Brett Charlton, chairman of the Tasmanian Logistics Committee, said the trading community of Tasmania were sympathetic to the issues that had impacted Toll.

“However the ramifications on businesses as a result of the of these issues are certainly causing stress on Tasmanian businesses,” Mr Charlton said.

“We are confident that the management of Toll are aware of this and are doing all within their power to lessen impacts, however the congestion and slow movement of goods is a reminder of how important the efficient operations of this essential connection to the Mainland is to the trading community of Tasmania.”

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