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In-principle agreement reached at Lyttelton Port

Media release

Tuesday 5th April 2005

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Representatives of Lyttelton Port Company (LPC) and the combined unions this afternoon reached an in-principle agreement to settle a new collective employment agreement (CEA) that would end the industrial disruption of recent weeks.

The terms of the proposed three-year agreement will be put to port workers for ratification on Tuesday 12 March, 2pm- 4pm.

If the agreement is ratified, the 'work to roster' action will be withdrawn at that time.

This agreement follows further talks today between the company and unions focused on settling a new CEA.

LPC chief executive Peter Davie said that ratification of the agreement would enable the port to get back to business as usual, after a prolonged period of disruption that had hurt customers and local traders and businesses.

"Our region is very dependent on the port's smooth operation. We all recognise that failure to reach an agreement would in all likelihood have led to a deep-seated and protracted dispute.

"Ratification will mean that we can all get on with business," Davie said.

Combined unions advocate Paul Corliss said that all union representatives involved in today's talks had a degree of confidence in the new proposal that had not been present to date.

"The longer, three-year term should provide a period of industrial stability that will be welcomed by all the parties involved," said Corliss.

Corliss added that details of the proposed agreement will remain confidential until they have been distributed and discussed with union members this week.

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