DP World Australia and maritime union MUA sign deals

Container terminal operator DP World Australia (DPWA) and the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) have finalized all four enterprise agreements at DP World’s terminals, concluding a two-and-a-half-year negotiation process for replacement agreements.

A final ballot held at DP World Melbourne saw the majority of employees vote in favour of their new enterprise agreement, the port operator said.

That agreement joins agreements now in place at DP World’s Brisbane, Sydney, and Fremantle terminals, meaning that, workplace negotiations at DP World Australia have been completed.

DP World noted that there had been five months of zero industrial action at its East-Coast terminals. This had enabled the company to resume pre-bargaining levels of productivity and reduce congestion in the Australian network, DP World said.

In September last year unionized workers voted to undertake protected industrial action at Patrick, Hutchinson, and DP World terminals at Brisbane, Freemantle, Sydney, and Melbourne in Australia after negotiations on a new enterprise agreement broke down.

The two sides returned to the negotiation table in good faith after the union decided to abandon industrial action.

“We’re very proud of the enterprise agreements delivered for DP World Australia, which will remain in place until the end of 2023,” DP World Australia Chief Operating Officer Andrew Adam, said.

“The agreements provide a strong and stable platform to encourage the growth of our business, secure fair terms for our employees, and support productivity improvements for our customers.”

All DP World terminals are operating normally and with no berthing delays.

“Our terminals will continue to accept subcontracts, ad hoc callers, and above contract exchanges which includes empty container repositioning, during a time when shipping lines are experiencing extensive delays in overseas ports,” Adam added.

“While congestion, industrial unrest, performance, and pandemic-related issues have adversely impacted Australia’s containerised trade supply chain in recent months, DP World Australia has been operating above productivity expectations.”

DP World Limited handled 19.1 million TEU across its global portfolio of container terminals in 4Q2020, with gross container volumes increasing by 7.6% year-on-year on a reported basis and up 6.5% on a like-for-like basis.

On a FY2020 basis, DP World handled 71.2 million TEU, flat year-on-year and up 0.2% on a like-for-like basis.

“This strong end to the year resulted in flat growth in 2020 which compares favourably against an industry that is estimated to be down 2.1%. Overall, this once again illustrates the resilience of the global container industry, and DP World’s continued ability to outperform the market,” Group Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, commented.

“The growth in volumes was encouragingly across all our regions with India being a key driver, while our flagship port of Jebel Ali (UAE) saw volumes stabilizing.   

“Looking ahead, while 2021 has started encouragingly, the outlook remains uncertain given the continued issues surrounding the pandemic, geopolitical uncertainty in some parts of the world and the ongoing trade war.“