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Maritime Union protest call effects farm export in Australia

Maritime Union protest call effects farm export in Australia

MELBOURNE:  The Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) has advised Dubai Ports World (DP World) it will take protected industrial action at ports in Melbourne, Sydney and Fremantle, after negotiations over pay and job cuts broke down.

Farm exports are expected to be affected by a strike and worker lockout at one of the country’s largest shipping companies this week.

The company says if the strike goes ahead, it will take counter action, locking employees off site.

Operations at Fremantle will close for four hours on Friday. The company’s Brisbane terminal is not affected by the industrial action.

In a statement, DP World said the action would cause significant schedule disruption at a busy time of year.

“We will work closely with the operators of affected vessels and will explore all options in an effort to mitigate delays,” the company said.

The MUA’s assistant national secretary Warren Smith said the union had been negotiating with the company for more than ten months for a new enterprise bargaining agreement.

“This dispute isn’t about money,” Mr Smith said.

“It is about hours of work, job security and automation of the waterfront with no fair redundancy provisions in place when hundreds of workers will get the sack.”