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Maritime Union announces sixth strike at Ports of Auckland

Tuesday 31st January 2012 1 Comment

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Maritime Union of New Zealand members at Ports of Auckland have voted to strike for a sixth time, and wharfies will refuse to work containers moved by the company’s transport unit Conlinxx.  

Some 300 union members voted for a week-long strike this morning. The industrial action won’t be continuous. The action will start at 7am on Feb. 15.

“The union is prepared to work through productivity and other issues, but not under the type of threats the management are holding over its employees,” union president Garry Parsloe said in a statement. “It is aimed at getting management to negotiate rather than dictate.”

The strike will be the latest in a running battle between port management, who want to cut costs by increasing use of casual labour, and the union in a dispute that’s cost the transport hub contracts with shipping line Maersk and dairy exporter Fonterra Cooperative Group.

Ports of Auckland has requests for proposals out with potential new labour suppliers which are due back today, and it expects to make a decision about whether to proceed with plans to outsource jobs in early February.

Last week, it emerged the port tapped former Port of Tauranga chief Jon Mayson for advice on how to set up more flexible labour relations. Mayson was involved in the 1990 labour reforms at the Tauranga hub.

(BusinessDesk)

BusinessDesk.co.nz



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Comments from our readers

On 2 February 2012 at 9:44 am Ron Palmer said:
Regretfully Ports of Auckland did not have the stomach to stamp out the cloth cap unionism back in 1990 when the Waterfront Reform followed by the Employment Contracts Act was introduced. The key personel at Ports of Auckland were gutless and allowed the union to continue with its highly extravagant guaranteed payments and over manning. Ports of Auckland have no other option but to out source the work to contractors who are experienced stevedores. Journalists should learn that there is a difference between stevedores and wharfies. Please get the terminology right.
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