Dock workers in Port Botany, Sydney Australia, are expected to reach a negotiated agreement to their dispute with DP World Australia (DPWA) following a moratorium on industrial action last week.
Ongoing negotiations after the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) and DPWA decided to negotiate a settlement appear to have borne fruit as the two sides are reportedly close to a final agreement, according to local sources.
“The Maritime Union’s decision to withdraw all industrial action at DP World Sydney has enabled productive negotiations at our Sydney terminal to resume. We anticipate being able to finalise an agreement at DP World Sydney in the coming week. We’re encouraged with the progress we made this week in Sydney,” said Andrew Adam, DP World Australia Chief Operating Officer – Terminals.
Paddy Crumlin, the MUA national secretary said the announcement was a “significant breakthrough“, adding that there is an in-principle agreement that both sides hope to finalise by the end of this month.
The MUA said it is working with the company to turn this preliminary agreement into a final four-year agreement “that will lock in fair and productive outcomes for workers and the company”.
The union believes that the effort made by both sides over the last week to “bargain in good faith” is what has seen a step forward in these negotiations, in a dispute that has been ongoing for two years.
“This breakthrough outlines a path for other stevedoring companies to resolve outstanding issues, rather than beat up public anxiety in an effort to drive political agendas or attempt to gain unfair and cynical leverage in negotiations,” said Crumlin in a written union statement.
Crumlin was making a pointed statement to Hutchison Ports and Patrick Terminals who the union is also in dispute with at Port Botany, over pay increases for the next four years.