Industrial action on Sydneys waterfront has come at the “worst possible time” with the federal government calling on all parties to work towards a swift resolution.
Some shipping companies are reporting near two-week delays in delivering vital goods amid overtime bans and other action, and have imposed a new strike payment to shift the cost onto importers and exporters.
The maritime union has dismissed claims of extended delays.
Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack said on Sept 12 the government understood how frustrated Australian shippers and transport operators were with increases in stevedore fees and charges but actions disrupting operations further were not the solution.
“During this pandemic, the entire nation has seen just how much we rely on our freight industry to keep shelves stocked and our economy running and how tirelessly all operators, including shippers, have been working to make this happen,” he said.
“Australia relies on shipping with 99 percent of our trade moved by sea, so it is absolutely vital we see a quick resolution achieved between all parties.”
Trade Minister Simon Birmingham said the COVID-19 pandemic was already placing immense strain on global supply chains and further disruptions were the last thing exporters needed.
“Our exporters are already having to grapple with significant pressures as a result of the pandemic and now is the worst possible time for such actions that only compound these pressures,” he said.
“Its hard enough for our farmers and businesses right now and the last thing they need is further uncertainty and delays in getting their product out of Australia.”
Attorney-General Christian Porter said the government encouraged all parties to follow workplace laws and make agreements that contributed to higher productivity.
“The government expects all parties to comply with Australian workplace laws, to bargain in good faith and make agreemRead More – Source