Peace deal on table today to end industrial action at ports

industrial dispute

The Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) will today use a conciliation hearing of the Fair Work Commission to formally offer a peace deal to Patrick Terminals that could deliver an immediate end to all industrial action at the company’s container terminals.

The union proposal would see the company’s existing workplace agreement extended for 12 months, maintaining the status quo with existing terms and conditions, while providing a reasonable 2.5 per cent pay rise to wharfies.

By extending the existing agreement for a year, it would prevent any form of protected industrial action from occurring, providing certainty for Patrick, workers, and the Australian community, said the MUA.

MUA National Secretary Paddy Crumlin said the union was acting to address the concerns of the broader Australian community.

“When the MUA and Patrick sit down for a conciliation hearing before the Fair Work Commission today, the union will be putting forward this genuine, reasonable, and fair peace offer that could bring the current dispute to an immediate end,” Mr Crumlin said.

“The union proposal would see the existing workplace agreement rolled over for another 12 months, maintaining the status quo in relation to workplace rights and conditions, while providing a reasonable and affordable 2.5 per cent pay increase to wharfies.

“Our proposal does not seek to modify a single word of the existing agreement, so there is no change to the arrangements that Patrick has successfully and profitably operated their container terminals under.

“This peace deal would result in the immediate end to all industrial action at Patrick container terminals, now and for the duration of the agreement.

“It would provide certainty for farmers, exporters, and the general community, and allow Patrick and the union to refocus our efforts on the ongoing challenges posed by the COVID crisis.”

Yesterday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison accused maritime workers of “extortionate” pay claims, demanding their union ditch industrial action or face federal intervention.

He also refused to rule out sending in the military if required to settle the dispute at Patrick Terminals.

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