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Asciano and MUA reach agreement

Reported by AAP
Thursday, April 19, 2012
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Asciano,Farmworks Australia Limited
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Asciano and the maritime union have ended a long-running dispute over wages and conditions at its waterfront terminals after both parties approved a new enterprise agreement.

Fair Work Australia brokered the negotiations this week after the dispute, which has run for 20 months, reached an impasse.

Asciano owns the Patrick stevedoring and logistics business.

The company estimates that the dispute had resulted in more than 60 work stoppages across the Patrick business and had cost it more than $15 million.

The final agreement provides a 22.5 per cent wage increase over five years to July 2015, or an average of 4.45 per cent per year, in return for improved productivity at each of the four Patrick Container Terminals.

A further 0.75 per cent would be available to employees if key performance indicators were reached and would be paid as superannuation.

Maritime Union Australia (MUA) national secretary Paddy Crumlin said the outcome showed that agreements which were acceptable to both employees and workers could be reached under the Fair Work Act.

"The agreement offers significant improvements in health and safety for our members along with greater productivity," he said.

"It offers surety for Asciano in a tight and competitive market and gives them long term stability nationally and in Port Botany specifically."

Asciano director Patrick Terminals and Logistics Alistair Field said the company was pleased with the support provided by Fair Work Australia and the Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations Bill Shorten who had assisted with the dispute.

"We believe we have reached a positive outcome for all parties and are pleased to be in a position to put the agreement to our employees for vote and deliver the benefits of the agreement to our employees and customers," Mr Field said.

Outstanding disagreements over the introduction of a third party specialist first-aid function and fixed overtime arrangements at Port Botany in NSW and a rostering issue at Fremantle in Western Australia had been resolved.

Asciano has also agreed to reinstate back pay for affected employees.

Employees will vote on the agreement over the next two weeks but the company is confident that it will be accepted.

The dispute has held extra interest because of Patrick's central role in the ugly 1998 Australian waterfront dispute.

Asciano's shares were up two cents to $4.77 at 1520 AEST.

28/08/2014 11:04Sydney, Australia. 28 August,2014
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