Coal terminal workers to take industrial action

Union members working at Port Waratah Coal Services have voted to take industrial action as pay negotiations come to a stand still.

Maritime Union of Australia branch secretary Mick Forbes said the vote for industrial action had been overwhelming.

Five unions represent workers at the two PWCS loaders.

Forbes said PWCS wants to change enterprise bargaining clauses related to dispute settlement and contracting, Newcastle Herald reported.

Forbes described the proposed changes as “union busting”.

PWCS chief executive Hennie du Plooy said denied the company was ‘‘anti-union’’.

An MUA spokesperson told Australian Mining any industrial action specifics ‘will be decided by the rank and file members in the future.’

The spokesperson said the main issues the unions were concerned with was job security including the settlement procedure of contract issues, what matters can be arbitrated and concerns over the use of contractors.

Yesterday PWCS announced it had agreed to accept reduced tonnages from local miners as producers had advised that the fall in demand for coal handling services was due to falls in production as a result of lower prices and higher export costs.


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