Darwin port workers go on strike against their employer

Maritime Union of Australia says workers voted to strike against Port of Darwin owners

Darwin port workers voted to strike against landlords

Workers employed by Darwin’s private ports have voted for industrial action at Australia’s northernmost port as the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) says company management again refused to table a reasonable wage offer or participate in negotiations for a new company agreement.

“The protected industrial action ballot returned with 99.9% support for this course of action from the workforce and it is a clear demonstration of the unity and determination that exist in Darwin Ports among the workers,” MUA Deputy National Secretary Warren Smith said. .

The Union says it has repeatedly requested cooperation and negotiation from Darwin Ports management with no response.

The MUA says the company has so far failed to meet previous commitments it made to the workforce to table a wage offer to form the basis of a new employment contract.

In the latest email to management, the union referred to the company’s responsibilities under the Fair Work Act and said “Darwin Ports’ refusal to table the improved wage offer amounts to a disrespect [their] obligation to negotiate in good faith to disclose relevant information in a timely manner”.

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“We refuse to work harder, longer and for less in the face of skyrocketing cost of living. Management and privateers, with huge salaries, throw a privatization party and expect their workers pay for it – they won’t,” Smith said.

“Darwin Ports employees who have kept the community moving during the pandemic deserve pay raises from their employer.

“If they have a salary offer, let’s see it, then we can move on to finalizing the other aspects of the employment contract, but promising it and then withholding it undermines their relationship with the workforce.”

The Protected Industrial Action Notice sets out the following work stoppages and prohibitions:

  • One-hour stops at 1 p.m. each of the seven days starting August 19
  • An indefinite ban on unlisted overtime from August 19
  • An indefinite ban on the use of workers’ dominant hand when using tools, including computers where safe to do so from August 19
  • An indefinite ban on transfers from a worker’s main job from August 19
  • An unlimited ban on work during breaks from August 19
  • An indefinite ban on making or receiving work-related phone calls outside of service hours from August 19
  • An indefinite ban limiting pilot vessel operations to 10 knots where safe to do so from August 19

The shutdowns will apply to operations, administration and security workers and will include members of the MUA, Australian Maritime Officers Union (AMOU) and Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU).

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