Australia: Shipments left stranded, port dispute enters second week
Containers carrying fruit, frozen prawns, grain, milk products, toys, Christmas decorations and machine parts are going nowhere due to an industrial dispute at the nation's busiest port.
Joe Tullio, managing director of Australia Fruits fears his shipment of $45,000 in Victorian pears will see a total loss. He tells that the shipment has already been stranded at the port for over 10 days.
The Supreme Court on Friday ordered the Maritime Union of Australia to lift the picket but it has continued as a "community protest" with support from other unions.
Victoria International Container Terminal, which runs the first fully automated terminal in the country, has become the latest employer to face the trade unions. The issues are perceived substandard wage agreements and violations of workplace rights.
Dominic Jenkin, chief executive officer of the Australian Horticultural Exporters' Association said he knew of several other containers of fresh produce being held up on the dock for more than 10 days. ■