MUA eyes Patrick strike to secure new agreement

Maritime union granted the right to ballot Patrick Stevedores employees over strike action to secure new workplace agreement

By Brad Gardner | June 27, 2011

Patrick Stevedores potentially faces a strike at its Victorian operations, after the Maritime Union of Australia won the right to ballot employees in pursuit of a new workplace agreement.

Fair Work Australia Commissioner Danny Cloghan last week approved a protected ballot for employees at Patrick’s bulk and general ports operations at the Port of Hastings.

Cloghan says the existing workplace agreement covering the employees expired on March 1 this year and that the MUA is genuinely trying to reach a new agreement with Patrick.

The stevedore did not oppose the MUA’s application for the ballot, which will seek support from its members for an unlimited number of stoppages ranging from four to 48 hours and bans on overtime work.

The MUA earlier this year took industrial action against Patrick on a separate matter at its terminals across the country after
bargaining negotiations stalled.

At the time, Patrick Director Paul Garaty accused the MUA of holding importers and exporters "to ransom".

The union sought an 18 percent pay increase over three years, which Patrick rejected. It offered an annual 4 percent increase and an additional 1 percent if safety, productivity and efficiency targets were met.

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