MUA strikes called off as talks resume with Patrick


MUA strikes against stevedore Patrick cancelled, with both parties agreeing to return to the negotiating table

By Ruza Zivkusic | October 25, 2011

The Maritime Union of Australia cancelled strikes against stevedore Patrick last week, with both parties returning to the table to negotiate a new enterprise agreement.

A 24-hour strike to begin last Friday at the Port of Melbourne was cancelled and a 48-hour strike scheduled to be held in Fremantle on Saturday was also called off.

The MUA, which is pushing for a settlement on the long-running dispute over an enterprise agreement, says its 200 members in Melbourne decided to cancel the strike.

Patrick spokeswoman Rhianna Fursdon says Patrick will meet with the MUA later this week to hold negotiations on a new agreement.

"I think it’s a very positive outcome for the company and I think it indicates that we’re seeing a return to positive and constructive discussion rather than rolling strike action which we have seen in the last month," Fursdon says.

"There’s still a degree in which we have to continue to have a discussion but I think from both sides there’s definitely a commitment to continue to negotiate with the union appropriately."

MUA’s Assistant National Secretary Ian Bray says there is still a long way to go before a deal is reached.

"At the end of the day, both sides realise there has to be an agreement. It’s just a case of how do we get to that process and people are working hard to see that if there is an opportunity that both sides grab it," he says.

"Hopefully we can continue to work hard and we can seriously intend to try and settle the negotiations."




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