Asciano at FWA for maritime union talks

Stevedore owner bemoans waste of Patrick enterprise agreement negotiations over 18 months

March 9, 2012
Fair Work Australia (FWA) will start reconciliation with the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) on behalf of Asciano in order to advance negotiations for a new enterprise agreement (EA).

Patrick Terminals says it is committed to resolve all outstanding issues and finalising the EA negotiations because the MUA has "failed to uphold the principles of good faith bargaining".

"This includes recently reneging on previously agreed terms from the in-principle agreement announced by both the MUA and Asciano in November last year," Patrick Terminals and Logistics Director Alistair Field says.

"We are disappointed that despite 18 months of negotiations and the in-principle agreement reached with the union last November, the MUA has been dragging its feet and has implemented delaying tactics on various occasions."

The MUA has instigated up to 60 stoppages and work bans at Patrick operations across the country over the last 18 months, and had recently announced strikes at its Fremantle terminal which are due to start next week.

MUA’s actions have cost Asciano $15 million, Field says.

"Asciano is responsible for more than 50 percent of Australia’s import/export container freight across our nation’s ports so it is essential that we are able to minimise the impact of any industrial disruption to Australia’s farmers, manufacturers and exporters," he adds.

"We are confident we can resolve these outstanding issues within the Fair Work process and are fully committed to concluding the EA negotiations without further disruptions for the sake of our workforce, customers and the broader Australian economy."

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