Update: Port Hedland Strike Called Off
Tugboat engineers at Australia’s largest port, Port Hedland, have cancelled the intended strike and will continue to negotiate with Teekay Shipping. The strike option has not completely been ruled out, depending on the outcome of the talks, according to Bloomberg.
The industrial action was called off given the fact that The Australian Institute of Marine and Power Engineers (AIMPE) had not submitted the action notice within the required period, leading to its withdrawal.
Port Hedland was on the brink of facing serious delays after tug boat engineers laid down strike notices on Teekay Shipping on Wednesday, jeopardizing AUD 100 million (USD 93m) iron ore export operations.
52 members of the AIMPE were ready to walk off the job for four hours on Monday and Wednesday morning, August 10 and 12 respectively.
The move to strike came after negotiations with Teekay had failed to meet workers’ requests for maintaining shifts to 12 hours.
Namely, as the workload at the port increases, workers have been faced with ever more longer shifts, reaching up to 18hrs.
In order to keep the shifts at 12 hrs, Teekay would have to employ at least six more crews.
Had the industrial action been materialised, it would have marked the first time AIMPE members left their posts at the Port.
The AIMPE stated that the four-hour actions were timed to fall on low tides, in order not to disrupt the Port’s operation to a significant extent.
World Maritime News Staff; August 7, 2014