Adelaide Port workers who struck on Thursday got the support
of the International Transport Federation (
) in their ongoing labor row with port operator DP World. The ITF
spoke against the lockout of employees.
"The ITF wholly condemns the practice of locking out workers.
This is not an acceptable course of action, particularly from a
global employer that values its commitment to our people and our
customers. DPW's current position is not only harmful to its
customers, but is damaging negotiations," ITF Dockers' Section
Secretary Frank Leys said in statement on Thursday.
"The ITF strongly urges the company to withdraw the lockout
notice and engage in meaningful dialogue in order to achieve a
negotiated settlement acceptable to all parties. Anything less
could seriously damage its relations with its workforce
worldwide, as well as its image as a company to do business
with," Mr Leys added.
The strike was the result of an impasse between DP World and
the Maritime Union of Australia which had been negotiating the
pay and work conditions of port employees for the past eight
months. The workers asked for an annual pay rise of 5 per cent.
They also aired concern over work safety and the hiring of more
The casual workers are handling as much or more than their
permanent employees even if DP World has the capacity to make the
Finders Ports, which holds a 40 per cent stake in DP World
operations, lamented that because of the industrial action
importers and exporters in South Australia are suffering from
slower processing of documents. Business, though, have the option
to instead send their containers by rail to Melbourne but it
would jack up their cost.
Federal Workplace Relations Minister Bill Shorten declined to
intervene this time in the industrial row between DP World and
the union. He pointed out that no one at the current stage has
indicated they want arbitration so he would leave the two parties
Mr Leys said dockers in different parts of the world are ready
to show their solidarity with their Australian