Maritime union starts year with strike action to defend conditions

January 3, 2024
Unionists and supporters at the Geelong Port. Photo: Tim Gooden

Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) and Electrical Trade Union members who work at the Geelong Port went on strike for 24 hours over January 1–2.

Local unionists, Geelong Trades Hall and Socialist Alliance members supported their action.

The MUA’s enterprise agreement expired last October and the port management has refused to offer a decent pay rise.

Geelong Port is privately owned: it was sold last year for $1.2 billion and reportedly took a $8.4 million after-tax profit.

Port workers are also defending their hard fought for four-day week: they work 10.5 hour days on a rotating basis. Management is demanding they increase their work days to a nine-day fortnight.

David Ball, MUA Victorian Branch assistant secretary told Green Left: “The members are determined to defend their conditions and keep up with the rising cost of living.


Dave Ball, MUA Victorian Branch Assistant Secretary, addressing the picket. Photo: Tim Gooden

“Support for ongoing action is unanimous, with work bans and rolling 4-hours stoppages set to continue. 

“Geelong Port increased their profits last year thanks to the hard work of our members, so it’s only fair to share the gains.” 

[The next stop work action will be on January 16. Show your solidarity.]

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