The Maritime Union of Australia (MUAWA) has deferred strike action at Mermaid Marine’s Dampier supply base, in the hope of reaching a negotiated outcome.
Last week, the MUAWA gave Mermaid Marine notice that 65 stevedores would be taking legal protected action at the wharf for 10 days from 5am Friday 1st August (tomorrow) to 4.59am Monday 10th August.
The union had been advised by a Mermaid Marine negotiator that the company did not take negotiations seriously until they reached the protected action stage.
MUAWA Assistant Secretary Doug Heath said workers had been greatly encouraged by Mermaid Marine’s approach to negotiations over the last 48 hours, and the union had cancelled the protected action due to start tomorrow in the hope a settlement could be reached.
“Over the last 48 hours, some very constructive discussions have been held and we want to give those discussions time to reach a positive conclusion,” Mr Heath said.
“The MUAWA always treats strike action as a last resort.
“Over the last eight months, we have had more than a dozen meetings with Mermaid Marine in an effort to reach a negotiated outcome, but we gave notice for protected action because it was clear that the company wasn’t taking negotiations seriously.
“We have made more progress over the last 48 hours, than in the previous eight months.
“The MUAWA will keep our options open regarding future action, but we are optimistic that we might reach an outcome without having to resort to strike action.”