MUA to hold off strikes at Patrick until talks end


The union can call further strikes after FWC overruled previous decision for a 'cooling off period'

MUA to hold off strikes at Patrick until talks end
Patrick says that new ruling also implies that the union is now able to notify of further industrial action.

 

The Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) will revisit its decision on further industrial action against Patrick Stevedores after the Fair Work Commission (FWC) overturned a previous ruling by the tribunal’s vice president prohibiting further strikes for 35 days.

Negotiations between the union and Patrick resumed today, with plans to continue over the next three days.

The union says it will review its decision on further industrial action at the end of the four-day talks.

"There is no proposal at this time other than to review after these negotiations," MUA deputy secretary Will Tracey says.

Yesterday, a full bench decision vetoed vice-president Graeme Watson's decision to have a 35-day cooling off period preventing further industrial action by the members of the union at all Patrick container terminals.

Patrick says that while disappointed with the overruling, it is encouraged by the MUA’s willingness to discuss the issue.

"Despite yesterday's decision and the potential for further, damaging industrial action our goal remains the same since this process began almost a year ago, which is to create a new enterprise agreement that benefits our employees and customers, our business and the broader community," the company says.

Patrick says that new ruling also implies that the union is now able to notify of further industrial action.

"Further industrial action would place Patrick management in the unenviable position of needing to explore all the other options available under the (Fair Work) Act to help mitigate the damage that industrial action inevitably inflicts on our business, on our customers and on communities across Australia," it says.

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