Long-standing industrial peace on the wharves is set to end with stevedores as Patrick container terminals to strike next week as part of a nationwide stoppage.
Up to 200 stevedores at Patrick's Fremantle terminal, and their counterparts in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane, will strike on Monday and Tuesday in a bid to force a guarantee on current job numbers as part of the next enterprise bargaining agreement.
The Maritime Union of Australia claims there are fears of widespread redundancies amid increasing automation in the industry.
The first stoppage will start at 7am on Monday and last for 24 hours, followed by a four-hour stoppage at 11am on Tuesday.
MUA deputy national secretary Will Tracey said the protected industrial action would affect exports through the container terminal, which involved mostly consumer products. He claimed it would not affect primary producers who had been hit by fires in the South West.
Mr Tracey said the stoppage was not about money but about ensuring job security as container terminals owner Asciano attempted to sell the assets.
"The number of jobs there at the moment are justified operationally, and we want to ensure that remains the case," he said.
"We want to make sure jobs are not put on the line as part of trying to maximise the asset or share price in this corporate restructuring process."