Reacting to the latest round of planned work stoppage, terminal operator DP World Australia issued a statement asking for an end to the industrial action affecting terminal operations at Port Botany.
The latest 24-stoppage has been announced by MUA members working on board pilot cutters operated by the Port Authority of New South Wales, for Wednesday, November 8, 2017, and is the fifth of its kind since September 26, 2017.
The action proposed will suspend the use of the pilot vessels used to embark and disembark pilots in Port Botany and Port Jackson.
The reason behind the industrial action is the inability of the parties involved in the talks to reach a deal over a replacement Enterprise Agreement for the Sydney workforce.
The Port Authority of New South Wales, the Australian Maritime Officers Union (AMOU) and Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) have been negotiating a replacement deal since February 2017.
DP World Australia Managing Director and CEO, Paul Scurrah, said the ongoing industrial action is causing mayhem to shipping scheduling in Sydney, which has serious flow-on impacts around the coast of Australia.
“Port Botany is working overtime during the critical pre-Christmas peak season,” Scurrah said. “These efforts are being seriously hampered by the ongoing industrial unrest.
“We urge all parties to get back to the negotiating table to work out a solution, to stop the ongoing disruption to port services across Australia.”
According to the port authority, “ the negotiations continue to remain difficult to finalize as the unions are maintaining a position which seeks employment guarantees that Port Authority is unable to provide.”
“Port Authority of New South Wales remains committed to reaching an agreement with its employees whilst minimising, wherever possible, the impacts on you and your business, and we will provide regular updates to inform you of further developments at the earliest possible opportunity.”
The 24-hour stoppage commencing at 0600 a.m. will exempt product tanker and crude oil tanker vessels, and passenger cruise vessels.
The industrial action does not exempt perishables and therefore the movement of container vessels scheduled during this period will be affected.
Emergency response, Vessel Traffic Services and other port officer functions will be required to continue as normal during this period of industrial action.