MUA Industrial Action continues


MUA Industrial Action continues

The ocean freight challenges we are all experiencing are difficult enough, but it is going to be further stressed with the ongoing industrial action from the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA).

Union strikes at Patrick terminals around Australia has been in place now for a few months with strikes rolling at all Australian ports. The MUA has just announced these will continue into the month of November with a particular focus on the first two weeks at Patrick’s Melbourne terminal. In addition the workers in Sydney will be off for a punt on Melbourne Cup day with a 24 hour strike having been announced for the first Tuesday in November.

As a result of the ongoing strikes Patrick terminals have advised the following delays are currently being experienced:

  • Sydney: 1 day and expected to increase
  • Brisbane: up to 5 days
  • Melbourne: 4 days and expected to increase
  • Fremantle: up to 8 days

What are they seeking?

The MUA is seeking a 2.5% wage increases each year for 4 years, the average wage for a port operator in Sydney is $172,000, this is based on a 35 hour working week and working less than 200 days per year, discussions at the back end of 2020 had the MUA seeking a 6% increase. The main sticking point appears to be the MUA seeking control over the larger percentage of any new hires.

We are starting to see some sailings not calling as scheduled and containers being discharged at other ports as a result of this action and the associated delays. It is also concerning from a commercial perspective that shipping lines will take into consideration this ongoing action when routing vessels to Australia. With significant delays already being experienced in the ocean freight supply chain a decision could be made to route vessels to alternate trade lanes that are not experiencing portside delays as a result of industrial action.

Our staff at Lynair and transport providers are doing everything possible to alleviate any further delays to your shipments as a result of this ongoing industrial action.

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