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Union preparing strike measures against Asciano

Patrick is a subsidiary of ASX-listed Asciano. Photo: Patrick

The Maritime Union of Australia has lodged an application to the Fair Work Commission to ballot Patrick stevedore workers over potential strike action in an effort to get improved roster arrangements.

An MUA application to the Fair Work Commission asks permission to ballot Patrick employees.

If approved, the union would be able to seek the approval of its relevant members to enforce strike actions ranging from four, to 48-hour stop-works.

The union’s deputy national secretary Will Tracey, quoted in the AFR this week, said it is seeking improved rostering arrangements for its members.

He was quoted as saying the union was committed to working with Patrick parent company Asciano, in a “productive and mature way,” to try and reach a “workable but fair agreement”.

“This agreement is not about money,” he was quoted as saying “in fact, the MUA had agreed initially not to lodge a wage claim until other cost items had been addressed.

“When wage increases were brought to the table the union agreed to take into account all of the cost items in total, including the state of the industry.”

But he reportedly said the union would not compromise on job security and safety measures.

“Fatigue issues are prevalent,” he reportedly said, “as some current rosters prevent reasonable breaks between shifts, or short notice when transitioning from afternoons into day shifts.”

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