Image courtesy of Maritime Union of Australia.

Members of the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) are threatening to stage work stoppages as a pay dispute with Australia-based logistics company Mermaid Marine that began in August still remains unresolved.

The MUA said 65 stevedores will take protected legal action for five consecutive 24-hour periods starting Thursday, the Sydney Morning Herald said.

The MUA said pay negotiations with Mermaid Marine have reached an impasse.

The union said Mermaid is asking workers to approve an 8 percent real wage cut and trim shifts down to 8.5 from 10 hours.

“This will mean our members will have less time with their families and communities,” MUA branch assistant secretary Doug Heath told the Sydney Morning Herald.

Mermaid said it has been working to find a solution that offers workers competitive wages while retaining flexibility for clients.

“It is unfortunate that the MUA has decided to initiate protected industrial action, which is not good for the industry, the business and ultimately not good for our employees,” Mermaid CEO Jeffrey Weber said.

Mermaid is working to reduce the impact of the strikes but it expects some disruptions to occur.

Slipway, vessel and international operations should not be affected by the industrial actions.

Mermaid Marine operates a supply base in Dampier, Western Australia that services vessels and provides equipment storage.

The strike could impact work on the $54 billion Chevron-operated Gorgon project. The Dampier base is used as staging area to store and transport equipment to the project site.

In August, the MUA planned a 10 day industrial action to protest Mermaid’s proposed wage deal but the action never took place.


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