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21 April 2017 

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Industrial action at Port Botany
The Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) has hit Patrick's terminal in Port Botany with industrial action. The dispute began when Patrick sub-leased an empty-container park to Qube (joint owners of Patrick) and didn't hire union workers. The company said because the park is not part of the Patrick business, and therefore not covered by the MUA workplace agreement.

A deal between the MUA and Patrick was signed less than five months ago after Union members voted more than 95% in favour of the four-year enterprise agreement. Matters escalated yesterday after wharfies refused to load a Qube train at the terminal. It has been advised that all other work has ceased. with 1-Stop time slots cancelled for the rest from 7pm-11pm yesterday evening.

Patrick is now urgently seeking intervention from the Fair Work Commission. A Patrick spokesman advised the matter was set to be brought before the Fair Work Commission at 6pm yesterday.

“We condemn this illegal industrial action and will be returning to the FWC to require the MUA to cease this action,” the spokesman said. The matter was already listed for continued conciliation on Wednesday April 26.

It is understood there are currently two ships at the Patrick Port Botany terminal.

Comment has been sought from the MUA but earlier this month, MUA deputy national secretary Will Tracey said Patrick had jeopardised industrial peace. “Why would Qube want to jeopardise future contracts at this commercially sensitive time by starting a dispute at this small container yard, when it is has just invested around $1bn in Patrick’s and is seeking new business for its Moorebank Logistics Park?” Mr Tracey said.