Maritime Union slams Newcastle grain terminal amid tense negotiations

GrainCorp is being accused of raising strike-breaking crews under the table while negotiating new contracts with workers at it’s Port of Newcastle terminal.

The Maritime Union claims a labour hire company visited the Carrington site yesterday to assess the possibility of a takeover workforce, in case a deal can’t be reached and sparks strike action.

Staff are trying to bargain for a five per cent pay rise to keep pace with rising inflation.

MUA Local branch secretary Glen Williams has slammed GrainCorp for trying to intimidate workers, while making record profits off the back of the war in Ukraine.

The company says it’s continuing to bargain in good faith with the union, but confirmed it is looking at contingencies.

“We acknowledge the rights of the union and its members to take protected industrial action, and would have welcomed the opportunity to discuss this directly with them.

“With the world facing an increasing food security crisis, GrainCorp is absolutely committed to ensuring the grains supply chain continues to operate.

“At this stage, we are planning for contingencies in the event of any disruption, in order to continue delivering our services for Australian growers and our customers.

“We will continue to bargain with the MUA in good faith, as we have done to date,” A GrainCorp spokesperson said.

Image: GrainCorp at the Port of Newcastle. Source: Grain Central.