MORE than 600 Sydney waterfront workers are to walk off the job on Thursday morning as the Maritime Union maintains its campaign against stevedore DP World Australia.
The 48-hour stoppage comes along with a series of one-hour strikes from the 350 workers at DPWA in Brisbane while in Fremantle work will stop for 24 hours from Saturday morning.
The latest strike action follows a series of coordinated stoppages that shut DPWA container terminals for between 48 and 96 hours last week, involving more than 1800 wharfies in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Fremantle.
Workers at all four terminals are also maintaining a range of indefinite work bans.
A spokesperson for DPWA said the latest action was “disappointing and unnecessary” and would “indirectly impact the whole supply chain”.
“We will continue to work with our suppliers to mitigate any service disruption to importers, exporters and shipping lines,” the spokesperson said.
“We have plans to subcontract our vessels to other providers, and where possible, move schedules.”
MUA assistant national secretary Warren Smith said DPWA had refused to meet to negotiate a resolution.
“Rather than bargain, management have basically told workers to withdraw their claims entirely and accept the company’s offer or there will be no agreement,” Mr Smith said.
“Most of the worker’s claims are not cost claims, they are about protecting our current conditions which were hard won and fought for historically by a previous generation. It’s not up to us to undo the historical legacy of wharfies and we won’t.”
Mr Smith said workers wanted job saving protections and commitments covering any future decision to replace wharfies with robots at these terminals.
“The escalation of this rolling industrial action is driven by our members and we support them 100% in protecting their jobs for future generations,” he said.
He said the union remained available to sit down with the company to find a resolution.