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Media Release: DP World Calls for Government Intervention as Industrial Action Costs the Nation $84 Million Per Week

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DP World Industrial Action

Sydney, Australia, 8 January 2024: DP World Australia is calling on the Australian Federal Government to intervene in its industrial dispute with the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA), warning that ongoing industrial action threatens to severely damage trade-reliant industries across the country.

Following consultation with an external economist, DP World has determined the cost of loss of output resulting from the MUA’s industrial action, involving work bans and stoppages at Australia’s major port terminals, is now exceeding $84 million per week. The MUA’s protected industrial action has therefore already cost the nation an estimated $1.34 billion since it began in October last year.
DP World Oceania Executive Vice President, Nicolaj Noes says key export industries like meat and agriculture, as well as retailers and logistics companies are bearing the brunt of millions in lost sales, spoiled produce and supply chain breakdowns.

“The economic consequences have reached crisis point. Urgent action is needed before irreparable harm is done to Australian jobs and livelihoods,” Mr Noes said.

DP World estimates $344 million worth of trade is disrupted each week that industrial action is occurring, representing 0.7 per cent of weekly Australian GDP. Meat exports alone are worth an estimated $13 billion annually and rely on just-in-time supply chains, which have been severely impacted by the work bans and stoppages imposed by the MUA.

Mr Noes says the MUA motivated stoppages are crippling the nation and disrupting the flow of an estimated 44,000 containers, many of which are stalled at the nation’s ports. At this point in time, the backlog will take two to eight weeks to clear. The longer the industrial action continues, the time to clear will only increase, compounding the impact on Australian businesses.

In response to the continued industrial action, shipping lines are prioritising loaded containers, leaving thousands of empties stranded. Rising queues are costing transporters millions to store and shift empty boxes.

DP World is now calling on affected industries to make representations directly to their MPs or industry bodies in a bid to motivate political intervention.

The MUA abandoned negotiations with DP World in December demanding a 27.5% pay rise on approximately $130,000 salaries.



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