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International unions don't want non-union employees in Australian terminals

Christian Fernsby |
Maritime and transport unions from dozens of nations have thrown their support behind Australian wharfies fighting job losses, outsourcing, automation and threats to conditions at container terminals in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Fremantle.

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Unions representing millions of workers across the Middle East, Asia, Europe, Africa, North America, South America and the Pacific have written to Dubai-based port operator DP World highlighting the fact that the mistreatment of Australian dock workers is threatening positive industrial relations around the world.

The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF), which represents 18.5 million workers across the world, condemned DP World Australia’s actions.

“Internationally, unions are alarmed by the actions of DP World Australia and have warned the company’s management in their ports all over the world that these attacks are threatening ongoing good industrial relations with their union and dockers unions worldwide,” ITF maritime coordinator, Jacqueline Smith.

“The dispute has been repeatedly escalated by DP World, starting with an attack on income protection, then threats to outsource and automate jobs, and now a refusal to meet with the Maritime Union of Australia to open a dialogue about how job losses can be mitigated through rostering changes instead of forced redundancies.

“ITF affiliates have made clear to DP World management that they strongly condemn any attempt to outsource jobs to lower-paid, non-union contractors at the expense of experienced dock workers, which can only be seen as a union-busting exercise,” said Smith.


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