The Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) began an eight-day strike at the Fremantle Port Authority on December 17. The strike was forced on the union as a result of intransigence by the Port Authority and the state government. Over 14 months of negotiations only one issue remains unresolved: that the workers deserve a guarantee that jobs and conditions will be maintained in the event that the Port Authority is privatised.
The state government says they don't intend to privatise the port but refuse to sign off on that final condition. This is therefore a dispute about job security and an early warning to the state government that the MUA is prepared to stand strong against privatisation.