Brisbane MUA picket

Last week Hutchison Ports Holdings announced the redundancies of scores of dockworkers in Brisbane and Sydney. While the may well be within its rights to make the move, the way in which it was done – via a midnight text message – appears to have misjudged public sentiment in Australia, according to this Sydney Morning Herald columnist. The Maritime Union of Australia (MUA), which made global headlines in the late 1990s during its surprisingly vicious dispute with Patrick Stevedores, has launched picket lines outside the operator’s gates in the two ports, and while it has been ordered to desist, sympathy from MUA dockers in other terminals could see more disruptions to the country’s container supply chains.

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