Toll reaches an agreement with its Webb Dock employees

Toll has reached an in-principle agreement with its employees at Webb Dock in Melbourne. This ends the industrial action that was impacting Tasmanian businesses that rely on Toll’s shipping service to get their products to market.

The Fair Work Commission issued orders against this so Tasmanian producers and exporters should now start to see the backlog of goods moving in and out of Tasmania.

Michael Ferguson, Tasmanian Minister for Infrastructure and Transport said the Tasmanian majority Liberal Government worked constructively with Toll, industry groups and other shippers, including TT-Line, to ensure as much freight as possible could be moved through the available capacity.

“The good news is, now that disruptive union bans on overtime and shift extension have ceased, Toll will be able to resume its normal services and begin clearing the backlog of Tasmanian freight as quickly as possible,” He said.

“This disruption was deliberately designed to hurt Tasmanian businesses, local jobs and the families these support. The unions are on notice – this must not happen again.

This follows the summary release of the Deloitte report Port Pricing and Access Review.

On March 10, Sal Milici and Paul Zalai from FTA/APSA met with Praveen Reddy, Executive Director, Freight Victoria Department of Transport and Melissa Horne, Minister for Ports and Freight.

The FTA executives stated that a statutory monitoring process to oversee further price increases is not the answer noting that the current stevedore-imposed Infrastructure Surcharges are already excessive.

“Incremental increases on this base would continue the devastating impacts,” they said in a statement.

“The government needs to protect Victorian shippers by forcing stevedores to cease this practice.”

FTA stated that stevedores should be given appropriate notice to allow negotiations of charges with shipping lines as this will allow market forces to take effect. An open and competitive environment will determine appropriate price for services without the need for further government monitoring or intervention.

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