Industrial action speads to other cities
Sat, 03 Mar 2012 6:09p.m.
By Tony Field
The industrial action at the Port of Auckland is spreading to other cities, as workers at Centreport Wellington are refusing to move containers on the Maersk Aberdeen because non-union staff worked the ship when it was docked in Auckland. Workers also protested early this morning outside Tauranga Port.
“Make the vessel leave the Port of Wellington, send it back to Auckland, get it loaded by union labour and then it can go on its merry way,” says Maritime Union General Secretary, Joe Fleetwood.
A protest was also staged early this morning outside the Port of Tauranga, where another ship, Irene's Remedy, will dock when the weather clears.
The Maritime Union does not have workers at Tauranga's container terminal - but it has asked the Rail and Maritime Transport Union not to move containers on the ship. And that is something that management at the Port of Tauranga says it will not tolerate.
“We haven’t had any notice of this strike, it is illegal and we will be taking a very strong action. We have advised the Rail and Maritime Transport Union that if they proceed we will be injuncting them and seeking costs and damages,” says Mark Cairns of the Port of Tauranga.
Centreport Wellington management has told 3 News that it expects the Maersk Aberdeen will be unloaded later tonight, but unions believe this could be just the start of growing industrial action.
“Why should that problem be down in Tauranga and Wellington? Why should our members down there and the public have to get in, just because this CEO here is out of control?” says Maritime Union National President, Garry Parsloe.
That CEO is Port of Auckland CEO Tony Gibson, and a spokeswoman for Mr Gibson told 3 News today the port is entitled to use its staff to unload the ships that come into its wharves.
This weekend's protest comes after two days of failed mediation talks - the union went into yesterday's talks believing it could reach agreement with port management but a day later the two sides appear as far apart as ever.
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7/03/2012 8:24:46 p.m.
This country is heading for one big have and work for shit have nots punch up! Mean while lets cut the Police force but not our Parlamentary salarys and perks. And now that local beef and lamb and dairy produce are at all time rip off high levels ,are those poor Federated farmers that got big hand outs from the tax payer for floods and drought etc going to pay it back? Let's keep the middleclass get rich quick Chinese sourced imports flooding in (It killed the USA)and while the Goverments at it, allow another four or five hundred thousand people to come here for jobs that are not here. But of course that's good for getting cheap labour and the privilaged country club anti union 1%
4/03/2012 12:41:38 a.m.
Alot of long time National Party fanatics... most of them either employers themselves or young Nats told to spread mindless propaganda that is baseless andmeaningless like their impotent leader and his erectile dysfunction over job creation.
National dont create happy healthy workers, National create unhappy, unsafe slaves.
They have and always will erode workers rights, erode health and safety legislation.. as they did with the leaky homes saga.
National more than any other party pushes for full employment, but why? because it creates a cheaper labour market.. could you imagine if only one person from each family worked? there would be a fight amoungst employers for the best possible work force... they would pay decent wages, they would offer added perks and benefits.
However if they push for full employment then there is no shortage of workers, employers can lower wages, they can lessen benefits and they can treat workers like slaves.
Thats the society National are trying to build... a society of us and thems.
Pushing full employment forces wages down, lowers working conditions and allows us to be competitive with asian markets who in general produce mass produced junk that doesnt last and is designed to throw away.
Key isnt building a society, he is building an indentured workforce that can be cowed into submission for corporate giants to abuse.
The one thing that more and more kiwis are realising is that John Key lost touch with everyday kiwis before he even took office.
And no matter how many fake smiles you put on Mr Key, your claim that you are a politician with his heart on his sleeve was a lie from the moment the words passed your lips.
4/03/2012 12:33:34 a.m.
@ Jim. Just what countries were you working in Jim? I've worked in several of the 'Big Player' countries and in my opinion NZ worker rights are right up there. The wages here are quite average, but I think that's more to do with the size and strength of our economy rather than our companies creaming it.. I would far rather be working for wages in NZ than the UK or US. I am not entirely anti-union but this extreme action is surely only reminding the ports that their initial decision is the right one..
3/03/2012 9:08:51 p.m.
The unions are redundant - they are corrupt dinosaurs from the 50's. They are self serving and bullies. They are just plain anti management. They think all workers are stupid and cannot think or negotiate for themselves. They do not represent the workers at all - they just line their own oficial's with money. Unions should be made illegal as they do not represent workers at all.
3/03/2012 7:49:21 p.m.
I have recently returned to NZ after living overseas since the mid 80's & am seeing first hand why the NZ economy is the way it is, NZ has never recovered from the stipping of workers rights that happened in the late 80's. As an electrician I have discoverd the working for wage's is just not a viable option the disparity between workers rights & employers rights is huge & is what is keeping kiwis poor. It's sad to say but NZ needs stong unions to win back the rights that our fathers won & the govt took away.What I don't think most people understand is if the maritime unions loose this fight it is likly to have a negitive effect on every worker in NZ.
3/03/2012 7:04:24 p.m.
Get rid of the bully CEO tony Gibson.It would be cheaper and better to get rid of 1 guy who is causing so much trouble.To me it appears the guy is stubborn as and cannot professionally negotiate.
3/03/2012 6:52:33 p.m.
Expanding disputes to other Ports is a sign of the Union finally losing the plot.
If they continue they could affect the whole of NZ and for what Parsloe's last stand. This is being done in a fit of Pique and both Parslow and Kelly stand condemned - they are striking their members out of Jobs and if the Ports of Auckland make all their members redundant and contract out the work then it is only the Union to blame.
Ports need to be efficient and cost effective and run for the Country not a priviledged or allegedly priovileged bunch of Union morons.
Sack the lot and sue the Union sooner rather than later and lets get back to making the Country work more efficiently.
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