Strikes underway in Brisbane

20/4/2016

Photo: Chris Mackey - Southern Cross Maritime

STRIKES are underway at the Patrick container terminal at Fisherman Island, Brisbane, as the company struggles to resolve an industrial dispute with the Maritime Union.

Sources from the MUA federal and Queensland offices confirmed to Lloyd’s List Australia this morning that a 48-hour strike had begun, coming hot on the heels of similar action at Port Botany (Sydney) and Fremantle.

Another 48-hour strike is set for East Swanson in Melbourne on Thursday.

MUA deputy national secretary Will Tracey told LLA they were responding to an offer from the company but the parties still appeared to be “very far apart”.

The company has offered a revised deadline of 5pm tomorrow (Wednesday April 20) to accept a new deal for workers at Port Botany, but Mr Tracey indicated it was unlikely the Union would make a decision in that time.

Queensland MUA branch secretary Bob Carnegie said the “overwhelming issue” for Brisbane workers was job security.

“Brisbane was the first container port in the world to be fully-automated and workers have paid an enormous price for that,” Mr Carnegie said.

“All they want is a job security clause to show they are not going to be thrown on the industrial scrap-heap.”

Patrick / Asciano has argued strikes in Brisbane, Fremantle and Melbourne are unreasonable and are part of a national campaign by the Union to pressure the company into signing off on shorter working days at Port Botany

Article by David Sexton 

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