August 7, 2020

OPINION: as an industrial action crisis looms, it is no accident that enterprise agreements have expired across the waterfront

Industrial action at the DP World container terminals around the country may just be the tip of a “protected industrial action” iceberg.

A deliberate, organised and co-ordinated campaign to cause widespread disruption across the cargo-handling waterfront appears to be underway. 

Ocean freight and logistics is vital to the lives of everyday Australians no matter how far they live from the sea. It’s especially true right now that international aviation is working at a fraction of capacity.

Ships carry the foodstuffs, medical equipment, medical supplies and everyday goods upon which Australian families rely.

That’s why the freight and logistics sector has been recognised as an essential service throughtout the COVID-19 crisis.

That’s why ports, terminals and logistics have been required to work even when many other industries were forced to shut. 

That’s why hospitals have medical supplies to care for Australians and that’s why supermarkets have food and everyday goods for us to buy.

Unions may be about to do what the pandemic could not. That’s to shut down the waterfront and the flow of goods upon which all Australians rely.

At a time when global and national economies are reeling, at a time when Australians are being forced out of work, at a time when many people are struggling to find the money to keep a roof over their head and food on their plate, it is contemptible that unions are pushing to extract even greater work benefits. 

At a time of national emergency and disaster, merely threatening to endanger the the supply chain upon which we all rely is highly worrying and unconscionable.  

Actually endangering the flow of goods to Australian families by organising coordinated and widespread protected industrial action, which looks like what is happening, would be reckless, despicable and dangerous.

Shipping Australia condemns any attempt to carry out coordinated sector-wide industrial action at any time, but particularly during this terrible health and economic crisis.

It is wrong, it is dangerous to Australia and it is a slap in the face to every ordinary Australian family struggling to get by during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Shipping Australia calls upon the union leaders to exercise restraint and think further than their own personal gain. This coordinated campaign would bring the Australian waterfront to its knees and would devastate ordinary Australian families.

We also call for industrial relations reform so that no-one sector can be held to ransom at one time.

Find out more about this grave threat to the Australian national interest.



Become a Member

Membership is open to all ship owners, operators and agents both Australian and International providing services to or within Australia.

Upcoming Events

Aug 22
SAL’s NSW State Committee’s Parliamentary Luncheon
PROUDLY SPONSORED BY Port of Newcastle    GUEST SPEAKER The Hon. Natalie Ward MLC Shadow Minister for Transport and Roads Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party   Please book tickets before COB Friday, 15 August 2024 Seating is limited – book early to avoid disappointment.
Oct 18
Queensland Industry Gala Night 2024
After a five-year hiatus, Shipping Australia is delighted to invite you to our upcoming Industry Gala Night, a premier event that promises an evening of elegance, entertainment, and exceptional networking opportunities., This distinguished event has long been a highlight on the social calendar for the industry, bringing together key industry leaders, partners, and supporters for...

Latest News

Global protectionism: Australian Financial Review is on the money… home grown everything is bad policy
Shipping Australia was pleased to read an editorial in the AFR yesterday, “Shipping shock glimpse of world without rules“. In it, the AFR basically reviews the ongoing Red Sea crisis (caused by the ongoing conflict disaster in the Middle East) and reflects on the wonders of just-in-time logistics and world trade – which has largely...
SAL MarketWatch: box freight spot rate rises staaaaaaalllll
Shippers will have breathed at least a little sigh of relief this last week as the increases in box freight spot rates have stalled. First up: the Shanghai Containerised Freight Index (SCFI), which is the freight rates out of, er, Shanghai (China) to about 12 regions around the world with data supplied by 23 carriers...

Latest Magazine

Shipping Australia Winter 2024
July, 2024

Subscribe to the Signal Newsletter

Be the first to know about releases and industry news and insights or catch up on any editions you missed.