The agreement to end the longstanding dispute between Hutchison Ports and the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) appears near to resolution after nearly four months of conflict. The dispute began on August 6 with the sudden sacking by text and email of 97 waterfront workers at Hutchison's two facilities at Port Botany and Port of Brisbane.
A community assembly is holding firm outside the Hutchison terminal at Port Botany, with 24-hour attendance and regular gatherings of maritime workers from Hutchison and the other operators, Patricks and DP World. There is a similar assembly at the Port of Brisbane. The assemblies were established after the provocative sacking of 97 waterfront workers at the two ports at midnight on August 6 and have been maintained as "solidarity camps" ever since. The sackings, imposed via text and email messages, shocked workers in the maritime industry and throughout the whole union movement.