STEVEDORE DP World Australia says the loss of container volumes at West Swanson Dock in Melbourne is behind a decision to offer redundancies.

The announcement comes as the company endures unrelated industrial action following a breakdown in negotiations with the Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union for a new national enterprise bargaining agreement.

DPWA chief operating officer Andrew Adam said voluntary redundancies (the number of which is unspecified) would be made available in order to adjust to the loss of a quarter of the volume at their Melbourne terminal.

“Combined volume losses at our WST have been emerging as an issue since last year and we have been working hard to find the best way to respond to these sustained losses,” Mr Adam said.

“The changes announced are the result of the detailed and considered analysis and planning which we first flagged to our people in January after an important shipping line customer confirmed we would be losing their business.” 

“Our business needs to adjust to the realities of a challenging operating environment characterised by weak outlook for volume growth and strong competition.” 

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DPWA has confirmed AAS Consortium (Maersk and MSC) have advised their last service will call at West Swanson on Friday, with that service moving permanently move to the VICT facility at Webb Dock.

“Combined with the loss of the A3C Consortium in October last year, we have lost a quarter of our volume,” a company statement read.

Mr Adam said the Employee Representative Committee and CFMMEU Victorian Branch and national officials were also informed and talks are scheduled “to identify ways of mitigating any impact on employees”.

Regarding industrial action, DPWA has said the CFMMEU (of which the Maritime Union is now part) had placed bans on employees working in tasks above their normal grade, as well as overtime, shift extensions, accepting late call ins and no advanced or delayed start times.

“These bans restrict the ability of the business to deliver the required labour allocation to meet vessel schedules,” the company said in a statement.

“Not only are the actions of the CFMMEU completely out of touch with the financial outlook of DPWA, these actions continue to cause deliberate harm to shipping lines, transport and rail operators, and our employees who continue to lose wages.”

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