Asciano And MUA Announce Agreement On Patrick Container Terminals EA

Asciano and the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) are pleased to announce that they have reached a final agreement in respect of a new Enterprise Agreement (EA) for Asciano’s Container Terminals employees.

After almost 20 months of negotiations, both parties have settled on a new agreement which maintains Asciano's fundamental right to manage its business while balancing the need for improved productivity and efficiency with a fair and sustainable outcome for Asciano's Container Terminals employees.

On Monday, following involvement from Minister Shorten, both parties entered into a formal, structured resolution process before Fair Work Australia (FWA) with agreement that all matters would be either agreed or determined within a targeted 72 hour timeframe.

Through this process, Asciano and the MUA have now reached agreement on all outstanding items, including a national disputes resolution clause and the remaining local issues at Fremantle and Port Botany. Asciano has also agreed to reinstate back pay for its Container Terminals employees. 

 The final EA provides a 22.5% wage increase over five years to July 2015, or an average of 4.45% per year, which will be very significantly offset by commitments of improved productivity at each of the four Patrick Container Terminals. There is a further at risk incentive of 0.75% available which is subject to the achievement of specific business and customer KPIs. If achieved, these payments will be made to employees as superannuation.

Asciano says that the agreement signals certainty on productivity and efficiency measures and will ensure productivity on Australian wharves lifts towards global benchmarks enabling us to maintain a high standard of customer service.

"We are pleased that by following the FWA process and with help from the Australian Government, we have been able to reach agreement with the MUA on an EA for our Container Terminals workforce," Mr Alistair Field, Director Patrick Terminals and Logistics said. 

"Our objective throughout the negotiations has been to deliver productivity and efficiency improvements for our customers and fair and competitive conditions of employment for our workforce. A significant part of this has been ensuring the right to manage our business.

"We would like to thank the minister for his persistent efforts and constructive role in engaging with the leaders of both parties to enable an agreement to be reached," he concluded. 

Asciano CEO and Managing Director, Mr John Mullen said, "The agreement is a significant testament to the strength of our Patrick management team and their commitment to see these negotiations through to a productive outcome."

MUA National Secretary, Mr Paddy Crumlin said: "We welcome the agreement with Asciano and believe it is a clear example that agreements which are acceptable to both workers and employers can be reached under the Fair Work Act.

"The agreement offers significant improvements in health and safety for our members along with greater productivity. It offers surety for Asciano in a tight and competitive market and gives them long term stability nationally and in Port Botany specifically."

The agreement will go to the membership of the MUA in the near future for endorsement.