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The Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) and Patrick Stevedores Holdings (Patrick) have been on a negotiation process for a new agreement for port operations. During the negotiations, the union obtained authorisation for protected industrial action.
Patrick applied for a suspension of the protected action stating among others that the suspension would be beneficial for the negotiation process. An order for suspension was granted, finding that it reflects a deterioration in the negotiation process. On appeal, the Full Bench found that there was an incorrect factual conclusion.
The Commission found that elevation of hostilities had not precluded negotiation, stating it was still on-going despite the industrial action. Patrick had not cancelled the negotiation process and that key managers were not precluded from attending the bargaining.
Read the full text of the court's judgment here: The Maritime Union of Australia v Patrick Stevedores Holdings Pty Ltd  FWCFB 711.