Strike at Port of Melbourne escalates

Truck drivers were no longer trying to enter a Melbourne shipping terminal after union workers barricading the dock knocked out the teeth of a driver at the beginning of December, the Supreme Court of Victoria has heard.

The Victorian International Container Terminal (VICT) has been closed for two weeks after Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) members walked off the job.

VICT is currently seeking an order from the court to ban the MUA, the CFMEU and Trades Hall Secretary Luke Hilikari from coming within 100 metres of the site, and from encouraging other union members to picket.

Cargo is currently being diverted to Adelaide and then taken by road to Melbourne.

VICT legal representatives told the court the serious assault of the truck driver occurred on December 2nd. MUA representatives said that the court had not been presented with evidence of who the driver was, and cast doub t on the vercity of the VICT statement. VICT said that no trucks had tried to enter the facility since the alleged attack.

The Victorian Transport Association said that the Webb Dock blockade had left 1,000 shipping containers stranded, including two shipments of EpiPens.

The union said that it had asked VICT to collect the containers, but they were yet to do so. It also expressed doubts as to whether there were actually EpiPens at the stevedore.

An audit in November revealed that 22 workers did not have a Maritime Security Identification Card (MSIC), which lets workers into secure areas. According to the union, the one worker who had taken the company to Fair Work had his employment terminated.

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