Logistics News

DPWA facing more pressure on EA negotiations

CTAA views stevedore landscape as producing more industrial action


The major container ports are seeing the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) tightening the screws as it pursues an enterprise agreement (EA) with stevedore DP World Australia (DPWA).

The development comes as container haulage firms fear wider disruption across Australian container terminals.

The MUA, part of the Construction Forestry Maritime Mining and Energy Union (CFMMEU), is undertaking protected industrial action (PIA) at DPWA terminals nationally, using work restrictions and additional stoppages.

“The effect of the work restrictions varies across terminal and includes various bans on employees working in tasks above their normal grade, overtime, shift extensions, accepting late call-ins and ceasing advanced or delayed start times,” DPWA says in a Customer Update.

“DPWA management regrets the impact this has on our customers’ business and we appreciate your patience. 

“We remain committed to reaching a new enterprise agreement that delivers improved productivity.”

DPWA advised last week it had been unable to reach an agreement with the union, 18 months after the previous EA expired.

Read how the MUA tackled DPWA on Covid-19 concerns, here

The issue is exercising minds at Container Transport Alliance Australia (CTAA) which has produced an analysis of the industrial landscape for the five major stevedores.

It notes that Patrick’s 2016 EA expired much more recently, on June 30, and that a ballot being undertaken now may clear the way for PIA at its facilities.

Victoria International Container Terminal (VICT) in Melbourne is a more complicated case as its 2016 EA, which expired last October, covered both Australian Maritime Officers Union (AMOU) and MUA members.

But MUA members voted down an EA proposal late last month, leaving Webb Dock vulnerable to action.

Hutchison Ports Australia, in charge of Sydney International Container Terminal and Brisbane Container Terminals,, has gained a Covid-19 pandemic variation to its 2015 EA from the Fair Work Commission on June 15.

The position is brighter for Flinders Adelaide Container Terminal (FACT), with its EA current until the end of the financial year, while the Flinders Adelaide Container Terminal Depot EA expires a year later.  

DPWA industrial action involves:


Since July 21, work stoppage for 1 hour per shift, at 06:00, 14:00 and 22:00 every day.

On August 7 (and each successive Friday), work stoppages of 24 hours, starting from 07:00 and finishing at 07:00 the following morning.

Vessel operations and non-automated yard operations will be stopped during these hours.

Landside receival and delivery operations to the automated modules will continue as normal between 07:00-15:00 hours (day shift) and then stop from 15:00 Friday August 7 until 07:00 Saturday August  8. 

Work restrictions apply.


From  August 4 to  September 1, work stoppage for 1 hour per shift, at 05:00, 13:00, and 21:00 every day.  

All terminal operations will be stopped during these hours. 

Work restrictions apply.


Since July 21, two hour work stoppages have applied at 05:00, 13:00 and 21:00 daily.

Effective August 8 – these stoppages will be replaced by 2 hour work stoppages at 04:00, 12:00 and 14:00 daily.

All terminal operations will be stopped during these hours.

Work restrictions apply


Since July 18 onwards – work stoppage for 1 hour per shift, at 01:30, 09:30 and 17:45 every day.

From August 3 to 7  – replacing those applying from 18 July – work stoppage twice per shift for 1 hour, at 01:30, 05:00, 09:30, 13:00, 17:45 and 21:00 every day.

From 6am Saturday  August 8, work stoppages of 1 hour duration commencing at 05:00, 06:00, 13:00, 14:00, 21:00 and 22:00 every day, for an indefinite period.

All terminal operations will be stopped during these hours. 

Work restrictions apply.


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