DPW embraces corporate thuggery to attack workers and their families

Published: 7 Feb 2019

The MUA bargaining team continues to work toward an agreement for DPW workers in the face of quite incredible provocation from the company. The brutal and immoral DPW decision to remove Income Protection (IP) from the workforce is an incredible act of disrespect and uncaring corporate muscle-flexing designed to pressure workers to accept an EBA that doesn’t deal with our concerns.

During negotiations on the 4-6 February our claims were all pretty much rejected by DPW. The company then put a rollover on the table and offered a 2.6% pay rise. This would apply to both Part A and Part B of the current agreement.

Threats the order of the day – doing it the Dubai way?

If we accept DPW’s threatening behaviour, DPW would maintain Income Protection. The incredible bastardry of the company Income Protection decision is made worse by the fact that it actually costs DPW more to cancel our IP than it does to keep it in place. It is that crazy and bloody minded. To get rid of IP the company must give you 2% on your clause 11 rates of pay. That extra 2% on salary becomes subject to company superannuation contributions, and while not huge for an individual is an extra cost to the DPW business.

Keeping Income Protection benefits the Company.
Keeping Income Protection benefits the Workers and our Families.

DPW have chosen to use a social clause, a protection for our families, bargained for and agreed with the company last EBA against us now as industrial leverage. They are using our families’ health and well-being as an industrial bargaining chip. Imagine the uproar if the union made a threat to the boss’s family. That would be outrageous and completely unacceptable behaviour. It would and should be condemned.

DPW are doing this to every workers family! It too should be condemned.

Possibly the hypocrisy of the Compass went with Mr Scurrah who is now off playing with planes but this action is certainly not consistent with DPW’s stated values. Or is it? The company is now owned by Global Network Terminal (GNT) Operator Dubai Ports World Dubai. It seems that an extra 26% shareholding for DPW has driven incredibly poor corporate standards of responsibility towards the well being of their workforce. Not exactly an entry of great eminence for the new CEO Glen Hilton either who’s first action is to take the sword to his workers.

On hearing the DPW offer of rollover the MUA Part A team considered what was actually being said to us. The company was saying: we are putting a gun to your head - do as you’re told or else.

Union members across the country asked the Part A committee to fix a number of outstanding issues in this agreement. There are several issues in front of the FWC, including leave accrual issues, overtime payments, drug and alcohol and company wanting to move to urine testing, payment for 8 hours instead of 7 for personal leave, contracts of employment, rostering issues, among others, so a roll over would mean ongoing disputes but without us having any capacity under the very restricted industrial laws to fix them.

During the course of the three day meetings your Part A committee revised our log of claims and consolidated our position into an offer of settlement in preparation for a genuine negotiation. We have consistently asked for Income Protection to be carried on recognising the benefit to both parties. The company could only bother to go through about half of the union’s consolidated offer before they just left and did not return on Wednesday.

This company is saying do it our way or no deal.

As a consequence of this abysmally poor behaviour and display of corporate thuggery by DPW your Part A committee was left with absolutely no options but to progress this negotiation to a ballot for protected industrial action.

That application for a Protected Action ballot is being filed and we are hopeful to have a hearing on either Friday 8th or Monday 11th February to finalise proceedings and move us towards a vote on the forms of industrial action we will be allowed to take. It is vital everyone votes and votes YES to all the questions. A 100% YES ballot itself can send a strong message to the company prior to any action being taken... and action will most certainly need to be taken to focus this company’s attention away from their one-eyed lust for profit and toward the well-being of their workers and their families.

Our offer of settlement which the company couldn’t be bothered to speak to but just say rejected is attached below.

The bottom line is,



Authorised by P Crumlin, Maritime Union of Australia, Sydney