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Published: 13 Apr 2020
Workers at Victoria International Container Terminal (VICT) at Webb Dock in Melbourne have overwhelmingly rejected management's non-union enterprise agreement..
The current enterprise agreement, the only non-union agreement at an Australian container terminal, is due to expire on 19 October 2020. The company had attempted to roll this arrangement over.
VICT Human Resources and Industrial Relations Director Michael O'Leary notified workers on Thursday that the company's agreement had been rejected, 89 to 43. 132 of 137 eligible workers took part in the ballot. Less than a third of eligible employees supported the company's agreement.
Following the ballot outcome, the Maritime Union of Australia wrote to VICT formally requesting the commencement of negotiations with the three unions with members at the terminal, the MUA, ETU and AMOU.
The unions have also served the company with a Log of Claims, endorsed by the workforce.
Some of the key things the unions are fighting for at VICT include wage rises to bring them into line with the industry standards at other Victorian stevedoring companies (Patrick, DP World, Qube, Linx and Toll) along with more permanent jobs, and a fairer roster to provide greater job security, certainty of hours, and work/life balance.
MUA Deputy National Secretary Will Tracey said "Workers have overwhelmingly rejected VICT's inferior non-union agreement, which would have paid significantly below industry rates and provided management with the ability to change rosters, hours of work, and salaries whenever they wanted.
"Workers at VICT have a right to open and transparent negotiation to get a fair agreement, which is why we have written to the company seeking to immediately commence negotiations.
"The MUA will be actively campaigning with members at VICT to ensure the new agreement reflects the industry standards and is fair deal for workers at the terminal.
"Issues at the forefront of this campaign will be pay increases, hours of work and ensuring that all jobs that remain or are created by the current level of automation are done within the terminal at Webb Dock, by local wharfies."