LOCAL: MUA plans stop work at Port Botany 29th October 2014

LOCAL: MUA plans stop work at Port Botany 29th October 2014

Operations will cease at Port Botany’s Hutchison terminal between 12pm and 4pm Wednesday (October 29) while the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) members hold a communications meeting.

MUA deputy branch secretary Paul Keating told Lloyd’s List Australia the four-hour stopwork meeting is authorised and has been requested by workers over a number of safety issues and the enterprise agreement.

“Given that we’re seeing an Abbott government determine that red tape extends to the removal of safety systems and regulation, is a concern.

“Matters relating to safety are the highest concern for the union and our members,” said Mr Keating.

On industry automation, Mr Keating said: “There’s a lot of capital being invested in automation and the efficiency is yet to be determined.”

Hutchison Port Holdings (HPH) began initial operations at Port Botany in early November 2013.

When fully operational, Sydney International Container Terminal – a wholly-owned subsidiary of HPH – will operate four shipping berths with a 1300-metre quay.

HPH signed an agreement with the New South Wales government in 2009 that provides a 30-year lease on the 45-hectare site at Port Botany.

Hutchison Port Holdings could not be reached for comment by deadline today.