A 10-day workers dispute at the Port of Melbourne ratcheted up today with around 1,000 workers marching and blockading the Victoria International Container Terminal (VICT).
The dispute between the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) and VICT centers around a recent audit which revealed that 22 workers did not have a Maritime Security Identification card, which lets workers into secure areas.
According to the union, the one worker who had taken the company to court had his employment terminated. The man in question has a criminal record.
The MUA wants VICT to withdraw its letter of termination and give the man shifts when he gets his permit back.
VICT argues that the sacked man lied about his criminal conviction.
Ships are already being diverted to other Australian ports as the blockade hits local supply chains.
Reinforcements have arrived at the Port Melbourne container terminal which has been blockaded by @MaritimeUnionAU members and others for ten days. 1000+ containers stranded. Speeches shortly. Maybe 1000 here so far. pic.twitter.com/AjhIF3d0Vz
— Paul Dowsley (@pauldowsley7) December 7, 2017