Port Workers In Esperance To Down Tools

EBA negotiations break down after year-long talks

MUA members at the nickel, iron ore and grain shipment port of Esperance in WA, will take 48 hours industrial action starting Sunday after year-long EBA negotiations have reached a stalemate. Members of the Maritime Union of Australia are unhappy with the port's latest pay offer and about 60 workers will stop work for the two days.

The union's Will Tracey told ABC radio negotiations have dragged on for more than a year and workers are fed up. "We're just astounded at the stance it's taken in relation to these negotiations," he said.

The port's acting Chief Executive, Devinder Grewal, says the strike will cost millions of dollars.

"All the maintenance, loading and outloading work will come to a stop," he said.

The union is seeking a wage rise and family friendly roster. Esperance is the deepest port in southern Australia and will handle 8 million metric tons of iron ore this year, according to its Web site. The nation is the world's largest iron-ore producer and third-largest nickel miner. Operations at one of WA's busiest ports will be brought to a standstill this weekend when Esperance port workers go on strike.