Ports and Logistics

DP World fires back in row with Australian dockworkers

DP World Australia has called for an end to the strikes at its ports this week, warning that the industrial action comes at a time when shipping lines are reviewing stevedore contracts.

“The industrial action will cause significant disruption to DPWA customers and importantly the broader supply chain of shippers, exporters and importers. DPWA employees will also be unnecessarily and avoidably impacted by these lost earnings,” said Andrew Adam, chief operating officer at DPWA.

DP World’s Brisbane, Sydney and Fremantle container terminals are on a rolling 48-hour strike, while workers at the company’s Melbourne operations have decided to down tools for 96 hours. The workers said in a release their actions this week are in order to fight against automation, outsourcing, cuts to income protection insurance, and “dishonest bargaining” by the company

During the recent 12-week bargaining period, DP World said the local union did not make any material concessions to its initial 50 claims. These claims include a wage increase well above CPI, DP World said.

“The Union continue to demonstrate an alarming refusal to acknowledge the commercial reality of the intense competition from automated competitors,” DP World Australia stated, warning: “Unprecedented consolidation of, and changes to global shipping lines calling Australia, combined with surplus stevedoring capacity are contributing to DPWA’s challenging financial outlook.”

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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