Industrial strife at Port of Newcastle intensifies

WORKERS at Port Waratah Coal Services in Newcastle will down tools today and then broaden legally protected actions with a new 24-hour work stoppage on May 29.
Industrial strife at Port of Newcastle intensifies Industrial strife at Port of Newcastle intensifies Industrial strife at Port of Newcastle intensifies Industrial strife at Port of Newcastle intensifies Industrial strife at Port of Newcastle intensifies

Image courtesy of PWCS.

Lou Caruana

The workforce decided to extend the stoppage to a full day on May 29 because of what it says is the continued unwillingness of PWCS to reach agreement on the major outstanding enterprise agreement issues.

Today’s previously announced stoppage will take place from 6.30am to 2.30pm.

Talks between PWCS and the single bargaining unit union members have continued for more than eight months.

The single bargaining unit comprises the Maritime Union of Australia, the Transport Workers Union, the Electrical Trade Union and the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union.

Maritime Union Australia national secretary Ian Bray said: “Unfortunately, despite our continued commitment to reach an agreement, we don’t think the company is getting the message.

“So we are stepping up our campaign of legally protected action whilst continuing every effort to reach a deal.”

MUA Newcastle branch secretary Glen Williams said the full-day stoppage underscored the solidarity expressed by rank-and-file members.

“The decision to escalate the protected action is not taken lightly but these negotiations have been going for a long time and our members want a resolution that protects their rights at work,” he said.

A spokesman for PWCS said the company was negotiating in good faith with the unions.

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