Wharfies mount strike action

Jon Condon, 12/05/2011

A 24-hour walkout by the Maritime Union of Australia took place last week at terminals in Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and Fremantle.

The dispute was the first industrial action mounted by MUI members since the major waterfront strike in 1998.

Patrick Stevedores maintains it cannot afford to meet the Union’s claim which includes a 6 percent pay increase over each of the agreement’s three years, a rise in superannuation contributions from 9pc to 13pc and a $5000 bonus to each worker for signing any new agreement.

An investment bank analysis predicted every day of strike action would cost Patrick Stevedores about $1.6 million in revenue and $400,000 in earnings before taxes.

The Asciano-owned Patricks said the strike had affected 15 ships carrying almost 18,000 containers, including chilled and frozen beef.

The major strike action in 1998 brought Australian wharves to a standstill, and hampered beef export operations into Asia and North America for a lengthy period. Talks are continuing.



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