Newcastle port workers to strike again as dispute continues

The long running industrial dispute at the Port of Newcastle is far from over, with unions announcing plans strike for 12 hours over three days this weekend.

Australian Manufacturing Workers Union organiser Daniel Wallace said the dispute over new enterprise bargaining agreements had not been resolved.

He said Port Waratah Coal Services had been notified that strike action would take place Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights from 11pm to 3am, Newcastle Herald reported.

The new round of action follows a two-day strike held at the port last week.

The dispute between workers and PWCS has been running for 10 months.

Maritime Union of Australia branch secretary Mick Forbes said PWCS wants to change enterprise bargaining clauses related to dispute settlement and contracting.

Forbes described the proposed changes as “union busting”.

The MUA claim anti-union proposals in the new agreements seek to undermine the safety and health of workers and tear up longstanding settlement procedures around contract issues.

An MUA spokesperson told Australian Mining the main issues have to do with settlement procedure of contract issues, what matters can be arbitrated and a concern over the use of contractors.

The spokesperson said another meeting will be held with PWCS at 1.00pm today.

PWCS told Australian Mining it was hopeful a resolution would be reached.

“There is nothing that PWCS is proposing or seeking to negotiate in the new agreement that does not respect the rights of employees to belong to a union, or to be represented collectively,” he said.

The spokesman said contingency plans are in place to mitigate impacts to the local supply chain.

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