Svitzer Australia Advises of Lockout for Harbour Towage crews

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15 Nov 2022

A letter from Svitzer Australia to customers and Stakeholders:

Dear Customers and Stakeholders

I’m writing to advise you that this morning at 11am AEDT, Svitzer Australia informed the three maritime unions (MUA, AIMPE and AMOU) and relevant crew of its intent to lockout all crews covered by the Svitzer Australia Pty Ltd National Towage Enterprise Agreement (2016) indefinitely, from 12pm, Friday 18 November 2022 AEDT.

The step is being taken by Svitzer under the provisions of the Fair Work Act in response to damaging and ongoing industrial action being organised by the unions.

Svitzer has been notified of more than 1100 instances of protected industrial action since October 2020. It has received more than 250 instances of protected industrial action since 20 October 2022 alone, amounting to nearly 2000 hours of work stoppages.

This action is causing serious harm and disruption to the national supply chain and Svitzer has had to respond to the protected industrial action as a matter of necessity – using the legal rights we have available.

Our goal throughout has been to try reach a new enterprise agreement. We have bargained in good faith exhaustively over the last three years. ?We are only seeking a fair go for the business which is restricted by many legacy conditions that make it difficult to operate, meet the needs and expectations of our customers, and keep Australia’s imports and exports running.

This decision was not taken lightly, and we recognise that you will have many questions and will seek to understand the situation as comprehensively as possible.

We regret this information reaching you by email in the first instance but hope you can understand the need to share this with you as quickly as possible.

The lockout notice affects port operations in the following locations:


  • Cairns

  • Mourilyan

  • Lucinda

  • Brisbane


  • Newcastle

  • Sydney: Port Botany & Port Jackson

  • Port Kembla

  • Eden


  • Melbourne

  • Westernport

South Australia

  • Adelaide

  • Port Pirie

Western Australia

  • Albany

  • Fremantle

  • Kwinana

  • Geraldton

A message from D&D Worldwide Logistics:

At this stage, should the lockout go ahead, we are unsure how severely it will impact vessel operations. However, we do expect delays to occur and will keep customers posted with information as it comes to hand.

You can also find the ABC News Article here

We will do what we can to collect your imports and deliver your exports to/from the port, but please expect delays.

Any fees incurred in the forms of driver waiting time, time slot cancellations, booking amendments etc will unfortunately be passed along as D&D Worldwide cannot absorb and will not be held liable.

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