Workers threaten strike at Australia's Port Hedland

|By:, SA News Editor

Tugboat workers at Australia's Port Hedland are again threatening to strike, raising the prospect of disruptions to shipments of iron ore, which is the country's biggest export earner.

Deckhand members of the Maritime Union of Australia have voted to take industrial action after failing to reach an agreement on pay and conditions with the contractor that runs tugboats on behalf of BHP Billiton (NYSE:BHP) and other major exporters.

BHP has warned a strike could cost A$100M/day (US$94.5M) in lost sales for the port's iron ore exporters, which include Fortescue Metals (OTCPK:FSUMF).