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Waterfront dispute: parties should accept umpire's decision

The AIRC is expected to hand down its decision on the Webb dock dispute tomorrow.

The AIRC's decision on the section 127 application by Patricks should be observed by all parties in the dispute. If there are objections to the outcome, they should be dealt with through the proper appeals process - not industrial action.

Over the past weeks the union movement has been making veiled threats with John Coombs as late as yesterday questioning the ability of the AIRC to end the dispute saying:

"I don't really believe the solution of this problem totally lies in this arena. Perhaps when the National Farmers leave number five berth. That wouldn't be a bad starting point for us. Cancel the lease and go back to the status quo."

John Coombs must understand that the right of PCS to operate a new stevedoring company is an entirely separate matter that has nothing to do with the section 127 application.

The union movement claims to support the AIRC. In advance of tomorrow's decision the MUA and the ACTU should make it clear that they will support the umpire's decision.

For further information contact:

Ian Hanke, 0419 484 095