The Victoria International Container Terminal (VICT) received a suspension of industrial action implemented by the Fair Work Commission (FWC) Australia. An interim order has been issued suspending industrial action by the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) effective from 6 am Saturday 20th February. Importantly, this outcome also prevents the MUA from taking industrial action until a mid-March hearing is held.
The discussion below outlines the operational and economic impacts of the industrial action suspension:
The following commentary has been provided by the Container Transport Alliance Australia (CTAA):
VICT has adjusted its vessel schedule, export cut-offs, and import availability, and, as of late Friday afternoon (19/02), has released additional vehicle booking slots for Sunday (21/02) and Monday (22/02).
VICT is conscious of the late notice of changed import pick up and export receival times, and the impact this will have on the landside logistics sector.
VICT has pledged to do all it can to assist with slot availability, most importantly for export receivals prior to cut off for vessels such as Venita and OOCL Beijing.
It is welcome news that the FWC has ruled this way, at least on an interim basis.
However, it is now the landside logistics operators who have to readjust and “pick up the pieces” for the affected weekend and beyond, to ensure that import and export container cargo continues to flow through VICT.
SOURCE: Freight and Trade Alliance (FTA) Australia
The following commentary has been provided by Shipping Australia Ltd (SAL):
Shipping Australia CEO Melwyn Noronha noted: “Everyday Australians rely on maritime trade no matter how far they live from the sea or from a port. The import and export trade accounts for approximately 46% to 47% of Australia’s economy. Seaborne imports and exports are a large part of and drive the logistics industry. That industry supports about 1.2 million jobs, which accounts for about 10% of the total Australian workforce.
“However, we continue to have severe industrial relations-induced disruption on the waterfront. Industrial relations need to be looked at as a matter of urgency by the Federal Government or disruptions will continue to persist to the detriment of all Australians, no matter who they are or where they live.
“Shipping Australia calls upon the Australian Federal Government to include a review of waterfront industrial relations as part of any reform package”.
SOURCE: Freight and Trade Alliance(FTA) Australia
Following the multiple 2020 industrial action disputes, it is evident that all industrial action has devastating impacts on the Australian logistics and supply chain industries. These impacts leave these industries struggling to recover, which usually takes multiple months. This temporary industrial action suspension will allow for the Australian logistics industry to restrengthen before potential future industrial action disputes.
We will continue to monitor the landscape and provide updates where necessary.