Workers at Fremantle Port Authority are expected to down tools Monday morning after they rejected a last minute union offer to call off strike action.
Failed negotiations between the authority and the Maritime Union of Australia has prompted fears that Christmas deliveries to West Australians could be held up.
Fremantle Port Authority workers say they are seeking assurances that any privatisation of port operations will not see the current workforce sacked en masse.
Will Tracey, assistant WA state secretary of the Maritime Union of Australia, said: “There are no pay and conditions issues in this dispute. The only argument left is what happens if the government privatises.
“People with 20, 30, 40 years of service at the port deserve a fair go if Mr Buswell plans to sell.
“Troy Buswell has previously promised he won’t privatise, and this clause only matters if they privatise. The MUA has made fresh offers to the Port and State Government to resolve the dispute,” he said.
Speaking on Friday Fremantle Port chief executive Chris Leatt-Hayter said he was disappointed and concerned that long negotiations had been unable to achieve a successful resolution.
He said that despite considerable progress being made over the past two weeks, there was still a number of outstanding issues.
“Fremantle Ports is extremely concerned about the very adverse implications of an eight day stoppage for importers, exporters and the community, particularly in the lead up to Christmas,” Mr Leatt-Hayter said.
The industrial action is expected to start at 5.30am on Monday.
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