Following business volume losses, DP World Australia (DPWA) has today announced plans to let around 10 per cent of its workforce go, with 100 jobs scheduled to be finished at each of Melbourne and Sydney container terminals.
These are in addition to approximately 50 stevedores already leaving DPWA in Melbourne this week through voluntary redundancies.
According to the company, the decision to announce redundancies is as a direct result of volume losses since September 2018.
“DPWA has been postponing these crucial restructures since September 2018 to progress constructive enterprise agreement negotiations,” said Andrew Adam, Chief Operating Officer. “In the absence of significant negotiation progress over the past nine months, the company must push on and address the impact of volume losses.
“We have been very patient, but further restructures of our workforce have become necessary. We have not taken the decision to downsize lightly.”
The Maritime Union of Australia said the timing of the announcement, during industrial action at the company’s Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Fremantle container terminals, was, “a clear attempt to threaten workers into accepting cuts to their rights and conditions.”
“The union have repeatedly demonstrated a dogged unwillingness to make any concessions on their claims,” said Mr Adam. “We are always prepared to meet with the union to negotiate, provided those meetings will be constructive,” said Mr Adam.
“To accept the proposal the CFMMEU put on the table three weeks ago will not only take us backwards but will also impact the wider industry. We will only make an agreement which takes us forward.
“The CFMMEU must significantly review their claims and be willing to consider concessions to company claims.
“Four vessels have been redirected to other stevedores in July to mitigate delays, and we estimate 40 vessels and up to 110,000 containers will be delayed,” said Mr Adam.
DPWA said that it would make an enterprise agreement on terms that secure the business’ long-term, ongoing sustainability.