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Dockworkers at Fremantle Container Terminal go on new strike

Two hundred wharfies at DP
World’s container terminal in Fremantle, Australia, have stopped work for 24
hours, accusing the company of failing to bargain in good faith as negotiations
for a new workplace agreement drag on for more than 15 months.

The strike, which commenced on
late January 12, will be followed by a range of further actions including
rolling stoppages that will see every worker down tools for the final hour of
each shift, along with a range of work bans, according to the Maritime Union of
Australia (MUA).

MUA explained that workers at DP
World Australia — the country’s largest stevedore — “had been left with no
choice but to take industrial action” in a bid to finalize a new workplace
agreement that addresses important issues around job security and locks in
workplace conditions such as parental leave and domestic violence leave.

Wharfies at DP World’s Fremantle
terminal are simply fed up after attempting to negotiate a new workplace
agreement for 15 months,” Christy Cain, MUA West Coast Branch Secretary, said.

“By stopping work for 24 hours,
then imposing ongoing stoppages and bans in the days and weeks ahead, Fremantle
wharfies are sending a clear message that they are willing to fight for a fair
agreement that includes important job protections and workplace rights.”

“They are also showing their
anger at DP World’s failure to bargain in good faith, and ensuring the company
realises that they will absolutely not accept a situation where these
negotiations continue to drag on for month after month with no resolution in
sight,” Cain added.

Several months ago, maritime and
transport unions from dozens of nations expressed their support for Australian
wharfies amid an escalation of disputes with port operator DP World.

The support came on the back of a
series of strikes organized by wharfies fighting job losses, outsourcing,
automation and threats to conditions at container terminals in Melbourne,
Sydney, Brisbane and Fremantle.
World Maritime News.

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