WORKERS at Victoria International Container Terminal in Melbourne have voted to reject management’s enterprise agreement.
The current enterprise agreement, understood to be the only non-union agreement at an Australian container terminal, is due to expire on 19 October 2020.
VICT Human Resources and Industrial Relations Director Michael O’Leary notified workers on Thursday the company’s agreement had been rejected, 89 to 43.
Some 132 of 137 eligible workers took part in the ballot.
After the ballot outcome, the Maritime Union wrote to VICT formally requesting negotiations with the three unions with members at the terminal, the MUA, ETU and AMOU.
The unions have also served the company with a log of claims.
MUA deputy national secretary Will Tracey said workers had “overwhelmingly rejected VICT’s inferior non-union agreement, which would have paid significantly below industry rates and provided management with the ability to change rosters, hours of work, and salaries whenever they wanted”.
“Workers at VICT have a right to open and transparent negotiation to get a fair agreement, which is why we have written to the company seeking to immediately commence negotiations,” Mr Tracey said.
“The MUA will be actively campaigning with members at VICT to ensure the new agreement reflects the industry standards and is a fair deal for workers at the terminal.”
He said prominent issues would be certainty around rosters, hours of work and salaries, pay increases and ensuring all jobs created by the current level of automation were done within the terminal at Webb Dock, by local wharfies.