Port Hedland, Australia, Tugboat Strike Update

Posted by George Backwell
Wednesday, May 21, 2014
File image

BHP Billiton said on Wednesday it may seek government intervention to avert industrial action by tugboat workers at the Port Hedland iron ore port that threatens to disrupt hundreds of millions of dollars in exports.

"It's highly likely we would do that," Jimmy Wilson, president of BHP's iron ore division, told reporters amid a long-running dispute between union workers and port services operator Teekay Shipping, which charges BHP a fee for operating tug services.

BHP also called the union's demands on pay and working conditions "unreasonable".

Australia's government has intervened in industrial disputes before. In 2011, the Fair Work Australia commission stepped in to end a long-running dispute between Qantas and three unions when the airline grounded its fleet, as the national carrier's move threatened damage to the country's economy. The commission or the government could take similar action in face of a strike at Port Hedland.

Wilson said existing constraints on shipping from Port Hedland - the world's biggest export terminal for iron ore, accounting for about a fourth of worldwide sea-borne trade - meant little room existed for stockpiling ore while industrial action ground ship movement to a halt.

"Our stocks in the port are relatively large and that backs up in the system very quickly and conversely we have to stop our mining activities," he said. "We choke reasonably quickly."

BHP is the port's biggest user and earlier this year lifted its fiscal 2014 production target to 217 million tonnes.

Other port users, such as Fortescue Metals Group Ltd and Atlas Iron Ltd are increasing output and were also facing significant disruptions to their operations if industrial action is taken, according to Wilson.

BHP has already warned that a strike would cost $100 million in lost sales a day, based on exports running at around 1.1 million tonnes a day at a price of around $100 a tonne.

Australian Maritime Officers Union industrial officer Robert Coombs said his union had already made concessions and would continue to negotiate for a resolution during conciliatory talks scheduled for June 5.


 

Maritime Reporter February 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

People & Company News

USCG Free Boat from Ice Near Woods Hole

A Coast Guard crew responded to a fishing vessel trapped in ice in Woods Hole Passage, Woods Hole, Massachusetts, Saturday. At about 3 p.m., the crew of the fishing boat Capt.

Tug Boat Owner Jailed After Crew Man Dies

A tug boat owner was today was given an 8 month custodial sentence after his crew member died trying to reattach a tow line in a violent storm. During today’s hearing at Southampton Crown Court,

COMPIT to Showcase Smarter Ships, Systems & Solutions

The 14th International Conference on Computer and IT Applications in the Maritime Industries (COMPIT) will take place from 11th to 13th May 2015 in Ulrichshusen, Germany.

Bulk Carrier Trends

ClassNK's Structural Rules for Bulkers & Tankers

The Nippon Kaiji Kyokai (ClassNK) has announced the establishment of its “Common Structural Rules for Bulk Carriers and Oil Tanker” (Rules for the Survey and

Jinhui Shipping Plummets to Loss

Norway listed dry bulk shipper Jinhui Shipping said the tough market that owners faced last year will become tougher in 2015.   Dry bulk shipping market Environment

Berenberg in $1.1bln Box Bid

The world's second-oldest bank Joh. Berenberg Gossler & Co. KG is lining up a new fund worth EUR 1bn ($1.1bn) for the containership sector.   A report appeared

Workboats

Tug Boat Owner Jailed After Crew Man Dies

A tug boat owner was today was given an 8 month custodial sentence after his crew member died trying to reattach a tow line in a violent storm. During today’s hearing at Southampton Crown Court,

Damen ASD 2810 Hybrid Tug Delivered to Multraship

Multraship took delivery of a Damen ASD 2810 Hybrid tug vessel, built at Damen Shipyards Galaţi, in Romania. The delivery is part of Multraship’s fleet expansion program,

Keels Laid for Two Aluminum OSVs

Triangle Marine Services and Marine Core & Charter host keel laying ceremony for two Aluminum Fast Offshore Support Vessels   UAE-based shipbuilder Triangle Marine

Ports

Long Beach Harbor Tour Season

Long Beach Port is once again giving tourists opportunity to enjoy a rare view of port operations on a free Port of Long Beach harbor tour. The organizers are

Mariners Transiting Delaware River Cautioned

The Captain of the Port (COTP) Delaware Bay is notifying mariners that Upper Delaware River lighted buoy 33 (LLNR 3875) and Upper Delaware River lighted buoy

Indian Ports to Set Sail on Corporatization

Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said in Union Budget 2015 that government-run ports in India will be encouraged to corporatize and become companies under the Companies Act.

Finance

Indian Ports to Set Sail on Corporatization

Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said in Union Budget 2015 that government-run ports in India will be encouraged to corporatize and become companies under the Companies Act.

Zvezda Shipyard Comes Up Despite Western Sanctions

German and Finnish partners continue to build Russia’s Far Eastern “Zvezda” shipyard for Arctic oil exploration ships, in spite of Western sanctions, reports Sputnik.

ADB Okays $30mln for Pak LNG Terminal

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $30 million project loan to Engro Elengy Terminal Private Limited, a special purpose company which will build Pakistan’s

Logistics

Indian Ports to Set Sail on Corporatization

Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said in Union Budget 2015 that government-run ports in India will be encouraged to corporatize and become companies under the Companies Act.

ADB Okays $30mln for Pak LNG Terminal

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $30 million project loan to Engro Elengy Terminal Private Limited, a special purpose company which will build Pakistan’s

Crimea Nationalizes Cargo Port in Kerch

The Crimean State Council nationalized the Kerch-based cargo port Kamysh-Burun belonging to the Ukrainian financial-industrial group Altcom.   According to Crimean Parliament,

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Navigation Offshore Oil Port Authority Salvage Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1533 sec (7 req/sec)