Australian Ports Clogged as Strikes Begin

The Australian Institute of Marine and Power Engineers (AIMPE) Union has started their planned strikes aboard Danish tug operator Svitzer’s tugs at various Australian ports, according to GAC.

Namely, the 12-hour industrial action has caused the shipping traffic to stop at the ports of Geelong, Newcastle, Botany and Sydney.

Further strikes are still planned to take place tomorrow at the ports of Brisbane and Melbourne, while the latest wave of strikes announced in the Western Australia’s ports will be held in Fremantle and Kwinana on January 14.

GAC added that AIMPE has also notified Svitzer of additional 24-hour stoppages scheduled from January 15 to January 18 throughout the ports.

The strikes, which affect all coal carriers, fuel carriers, car importers and bulk container vessels entering port, are due to the tug crews’ disagreement with Svitzer’s proposed industrial contract which would force three-person crews, consisting of a skipper, a deckhand and an engineer, under a single agreement.

For 25 years the three-person crews were represented by three different agreements recognising different sets of skills.

World Maritime News Staff

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