Webb Dock Waterside Workers Strike Action A Last Resort

Maritime Union of Australia workers at Patrick's Webb Dock in Melbourne will extend a 48 hour stoppage, which began at 12.01am this morning, to 72 hours after the latest round of EBA negations with management today failed to yield any offer from Patrick.

12 January 2011

MUA Assistant National Secretary Ian Bray said that after six months of negotiations, members have reached the point where going out on strike was the only option left for them.

"We don't want to strike. It is always our last resort. But when management refuses to move on key issues such as safety, training and permanency, they leave us with no choice," Mr Bray said.

"We've lost three workers last year, two out of bulk and general, and our New Year's resolution is to make the wharves safer for our members.

"Without a commitment to reduce casualisation and improve training, management cannot claim to have employee safety at heart. They're kidding themselves if they can't see these issues are inextricably linked.

"It is ridiculous that 60 per cent of the workforce is employed as casuals, and many of these have been employed as casuals for more than 9 years. The average is around 5 years.

"Also, there is minimal training and it is delivered without a strategic or purposeful framework," said Mr Bray.

In a formal AEC ballot members at Webb Dock voted unanimously in support of the action.