MUA Warns of Potential Industrial Chaos in Darwin Port

The Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) has warned of potential disruption to the Port of Darwin if the new private port operator Landbridge does not come to the table recognising the legitimate claims of its workforce.

MUA Assistant National Secretary Warren Smith said the controversial multinational company is sitting on top of millions of dollars of public assets and refuses to pass on decent outcomes to its workforce.

Workers are seeking a three per cent pay rise per year and for Landbridge to provide income protection in lieu of the reduced job security as a result of privatisation.

“Workers are simply seeking a reasonable deal that reflects the considerable concessions made when transferring to the private sector from previously secure public sector jobs,” Smith said.

“These workers’ claims are just and reasonable and reflect an understanding of the new private operating environment in the port.

“Workers are steadfast in their view that this controversial multinational company needs to meet these demands before they settle any agreement.

"Workers have listened to the company’s arguments but they are not listening to their workforce who have worked tirelessly to see a seamless transition to private ownership in the Port of Darwin.

"It is fundamentally wrong that privatisation has led to a showdown with the workforce when there has never been industrial action in the public port authority.

“The MUA and it members will not stand for the lowest-ever offer in port authority history and are prepared to mount a campaign to win justice in this transition from public to private ownership.”

Landbridge controversially took out a 99-year lease at Darwin port in 2015 amid concerns that Australia was leasing out a piece of critical infrastructure with national strategic importance to a multinational company.