Following business volume losses, DP World Australia (DPWA) has advised its employees that it will proceed with further redundancies of 200 stevedores nationwide, comprised of 100 stevedores in Sydney, and 100 stevedores in Melbourne.
These are in addition to approximately 50 stevedores already leaving DPWA in Melbourne this week through voluntary redundancies.
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.
“In the absence of significant negotiation progress over the past nine months, the Company must push on and address the impact of volume losses,” said Andrew Adam, Chief Operating Officer.
“We have been very patient, but further restructures of our workforce have become necessary. We have not taken the decision to downsize lightly,” said Mr Adam.
Since the three-month intensive bargaining period with the CFMMEU began in April 2019, DPWA has reduced their claims from 29 to just five.
“The CFMMEU commenced the three-month negotiation period in April with 59 claims and ended in June still having 53 claims, which have the potential to increase our costs by over $15 million per annum.
“The Union have repeatedly demonstrated a dogged unwillingness to make any concessions on their claims. We are always prepared to meet with the Union to negotiate, provided those meetings will be constructive,” said Mr Adam.
“To accept the CFMMEU's current proposal 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,” said Mr Adam.
Ongoing industrial action across DP World’s Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Fremantle Terminals continue to impact the entire supply chain, causing delays and adding costs for importers, exporters and shipping lines.
“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.
Unprecedented consolidation of, and changes to global shipping line services calling Australia, combined with surplus stevedoring capacity are contributing to DPWA’s challenging outlook.
DPWA continues to maintain that it will make an enterprise agreement on terms that secure the business’ long-term, ongoing sustainability.