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Making light work of labour pains

While many operators might baulk at impending labour discussions with unionised labour, Yilport successfully negotiated with the unions for a renewed three year agreement with a focus on ‘positive change’.

“We’ve had no issues, I know other ports have struggled but that wasn’t the case here,” says Sean Pierce, chief executive of Yilport Holding. “For us, it worked out for both sides. We explained that we weren’t looking to update the agreement and keep the status quo. We’re bringing in new technology, new equipment, we’re going to modify our processes and automate the information exchange with the customers and with the lines.

“There was a lot of discussion about us being here to make positive change - not just showing up and negotiating an existing agreement to try to gain a slightly better position. We explained that we wanted to change how things are done and detailed the investment that we are bringing in.

“Now the unions are seeing the results of that and they’re excited by it - we’re just delivering on what we said we would do.”