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DP World calls for government to intervene on industrial action

An external economist has valued the ongoing DP World and MUA industrial dispute to be costing Australian industries $84 million per week

Major logistics and port terminal company DP World has called on the federal government to intervene in its industrial dispute with the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) due to the ongoing cost of the dispute.

DP World has warned that ongoing industrial action threatens to severely damage trade-reliant industries across the country.

To determine the impact of the dispute, DP World consulted with an external economist, with the work bans and stoppages at major port terminals across Australia exceeding $84 million per week and costing Australia an estimated $1.34 billion since it began in October last year.

DP World Oceania executive vice president Nicolaj Noes says key export industries such as in meat, agriculture, retail and logistics will continue bearing the brunt of millions of dollars in lost sales, spoiled produce and supply chain breakdowns.

“The economic consequences have reached crisis point. Urgent action is needed before irreparable harm is done to Australian jobs and livelihoods,” Noes says.

DP World estimates $344 million worth of trade is disrupted each week that industrial action is occurring, representing 0.7 per cent of weekly Australian GDP.

The port company says meat exports alone are worth an estimated $13 billion annually and rely on just-in-time supply chains, which have been severely impacted by the work bans and stoppages imposed throughout the dispute.

Noes says the MUA motivated stoppages are crippling the nation and disrupting the flow of an estimated 44,000 containers, many of which are stalled at the nation’s ports, with DP World estimating that the backlog will take two to eight weeks to clear.

Noes says that the longer the industrial action continues, the time to clear will only increase, compounding the impact on Australian businesses.

In response to the continued industrial action, shipping lines are prioritising loaded containers, leaving thousands of empties stranded. Rising queues are costing transporters millions to store and shift empty boxes.

DP World is now calling on affected industries to make representations directly to their MPs or industry bodies in a bid to motivate political intervention.

DP World says MUA abandoned negotiations with DP World in December, demanding a 27.5 per cent pay rise on approximately $130,000 salaries.

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