Stoppages at Melbourne Container Terminal

Please be advised that the Patrick container terminal at the port of Melbourne in Australia currently  faces a stoppage as part of a three-week-old industrial action campaign by the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) as the two parties negotiate contracts, according to information provided by the Journal of Commerce.

The strike, which has its origins in a year of failed contract talks, will last 48 hours.  The action started  at 7 a.m. local time April 28 and comes after similar actions last week at the ports of Melbourne and Brisbane. Future stoppages are planned for Patrick container terminals at Port Botany, Sydney and Fremantle during the first two weeks of May.

Major points of contention in the negotiations include rosters and wages, job security, job allocation, safety clauses and layoffs, pay and productivity.

Patrick last week said it would bypass the union and take its offer directly to union membership for a May 4 vote. The union’s membership in December voted 80 percent in favor of industrial action.  Patrick said it is open to arbitration or government intervention if employees don’t approve the firm’s latest offer, but it is keeping the possibility of a lockout on the table if strikes continue.

The MUA and Patrick have both refused to back down in recent weeks, with the company giving the union a final offer and deadline to end the stoppages two weeks ago. The union defied that deadline but is considering the most recent offer.

The Brisbane stoppages last week affected three vessels due at Patrick’s Fishermen Island terminal, the company said. At the same time, a Brisport representative said that operations had been largely unaffected over the 48 hours.

Please be guided accordingly. RCL Agencies will provide further updates once available.