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Australia's Port Kembla Coal Terminal to lockout workers following strike

Sydney — Australia's Port Kembla Coal Terminal is planning to lockout workers who have undertaken seven days of industrial action this week as a dispute between the company and the Construction Forestry Maritime Mining and Energy Union worsens, PKCT said in a statement Friday.

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"Despite the CFMMEU attempts to escalate industrial action (a seven-day strike following 33 different stop work notices since December), PKCT reaffirmed its offer of providing above award wages and conditions, including a pay rise, to its permanent workforce," it said.

The dispute between PKCT and the CFMMEU is over a job security clause in an existing workplace agreement and whether it will be carried over into a new agreement.

PKCT says it has offered the CFMMEU a moratorium on the ongoing industrial action and to resume negotiations. It says the talks can't happen in good faith when the business is being disrupted by strikes.

"In the face of escalating disruption and a refusal by the union to accept the company's request for a short moratorium on further industrial unrest, PKCT has no choice but to inform striking employees, not to return to work for six days," it said. The current seven-day strike is due to end on Saturday.

PKCT said that in this coming week, it is required to undertake further shiploading and a pre-scheduled maintenance shutdown, which has been planned months in advance with its customers to minimize any impact. It intends to carry this out "safely and on time" despite the industrial action, it said.

PKCT also locked out workers in January after it was notified of their intention to take seven days of one-hour on and one-hour off rolling stoppages.

The New South Wales-based terminal loads more than 6.9 million mt/year of coal, PKCT said.

The terminal, which services the Southern and Western coalfields, is used by Wollongong Coal, South32, Peabody Energy, SIMIC Mining, Glencore and Centennial. -- Nathan Richardson,

-- Edited by Ikhhlaq Singh Aujla,