The Business Times

Port Hedland union cancels strike plan

Published Thu, Aug 7, 2014 · 10:00 PM
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[SINGAPORE] Tugboat engineers at Australia's Port Hedland called off an intended strike that threatened exports from the terminal which ships about a quarter of the world's seaborne iron ore cargoes.

The Australian Institute of Marine & Power Engineers didn't serve the action notice within the required period and had to withdraw it, official Andrew Williamson said yesterday. The union will continue talks with Teekay Shipping (Australia) and may ballot to strike again, he said.

Stoppages would threaten exports by companies including BHP and Fortescue Metals Group. Iron ore is Australia's biggest export earner and disruptions could cost suppliers about A$100 million (S$116 million) a day, BHP estimated in May. Shipments through Port Hedland represented 55 per cent of the country's iron ore exports last year and more than 80 per cent of the cargoes go to China, port and government data show.

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