Patrick container terminals face industrial action

MUA announces 24-hour strike for next Monday

Patrick container terminals face industrial action
Patrick terminals may face strike action.


All four Patrick container terminals will come to a standstill next week as employees to go on strike over disputes relating to pay and working conditions.

The Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) has expanded its campaign to initiate protected industrial action, with a 24-hour strike declared on Monday next week in addition to a national stoppage of four hours on Tuesday.

Asciano’s director of Patrick Murray Vitlich said the union, which represents the employees at the Sydney Autostrad Terminal, has made some "unrealistic" demands "such as working a 30-hour week whilst being paid the equivalent of a 35 hour week".

On the other hand, MUA deputy national secretary Will Tracey told ATN that the stoppages "are not about money but about ensuring job security as Asciano attempts to sell the Patrick’s business".

"The current number of jobs are justified operationally and we want to ensure that remains the case," Tracey said.

"The MUA wants to make sure jobs are not put on the line as part of trying to maximise the asset or share price in this corporate restructuring process," he said.

In a statement notifying the clients of the strike that can potentially disrupt operations, Patrick states that it is looking at all "realistic options" and seeking "a fair and sustainable outcome to the enterprise agreement negotiations with employees and the MUA" so as to reach a timely end to this situation.

The 24-hour strike begins at 6am (7am in Fremantle) Monday, January 18 and is due to end at 6am (7am in Fremantle) Tuesday, January 19.

There will be a further national stoppage of four hours commencing 10am (11am in Fremantle) on Tuesday, January 19.

Meanwhile, in a separate issue, the MUA has criticised Alcoa over the forcible removal of five crew members aboard the ship Portland overnight.

Following a 60-day dispute over sacking of 40 Australian workers, the Portland sailed to Singapore with a foreign crew.

MUA national secretary Paddy Crumlin said there were many unanswered questions about the legitimacy of what occurred.

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