Port redundancy decision won't be overturned - lawyers
Thu, 08 Mar 2012 4:22p.m.
By Tom McRae
The Ports of Auckland seemingly have won out over the Maritime Union, with employment lawyers saying they have no chance of reversing the decision to make workers redundant, but the Maritime Union are vowing to fight on.
“Believe you me we’re going to be fighting this,” says port worker Carl Findlay, one of many workers who were back on the picket line before dawn this morning.
After yesterday’s announcement that almost 300 workers would lose their jobs the union is taking the port to the employments court saying making workers redundant is against the law while in negotiations.
“While they were in good faith bargaining with us they're now making people redundant and sacking them,” says Garry Parsloe of the Maritime Union.
“You can't be in good faith and be having negotiations and sacking people because the sacking undermines the good faith.”
But one employment expert says it is facing an uphill battle in a bid to prove that.
“The court's likely to see it as a management right to restructure your business to operate more efficiently, so the union are going to have some pretty big hurdles,” says employment lawyer Aaron Lloyd. “I would have thought to say this restructure wasn't a genuine restructure.”
It is unlikely the union will have any luck with the employment court and Len Brown has ruled out interfering. The Government is also staying well clear.
The port says it is in the workers interests to sign up to one of three contracting firms it will appoint to do the work.
“We want them to make the decision on their own and not be told what they can or can’t do by the union,” says Ports of Auckland chairman Richard Parsons.
And with little movement on the wharf, the port says it has lost eight million dollars because of strike action – and redundancy payouts will cost almost $12 million.
“There’s no sense it in,” says Garry Parsloe. “The City of Auckland is going to pay many millions of dollars to pay them out then bring in other people in to do the same job - we don't think it makes any sense.”
The union’s cause though is now looking as gloomy as the weather.
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11/03/2012 7:27:51 p.m.
Funny how Courts can order workers back to work - but can't order employers to rescind illegal redundancy notices...
This is not justice - this pretty damn close to fascism.
Mike - you've left the same post under three TV3 stories thus far.
9/03/2012 2:32:11 p.m.
POAL released propaganda saying wharfies earned $93k for a 26 hr week. Union said ok if that's true, we'll work for $80k for a 40 hr week and there you have all your efficiency savings. Surprisingly enough the employers did not want to take this offer. Truth is not limited to the side with the biggest voice.
9/03/2012 5:48:09 a.m.
Jim Seaview wrote:
Quote: " “While they were in good faith bargaining with us they're now making people redundant and sacking them,” says Garry Parsloe of the Maritime Union.“You can't be in good faith and be having negotiations and sacking people because the sacking undermines the good faith.” Union Hypocracy: Where was the 'good faith' shown by the Maritime Union and the Trade Union Council by taking the employees of Port of Auckland out on 'strike' and as a direct consequence - the strikers employer have lost $30 million revenue this year. The Union does not pay the employees wages - the employer does. The employees had a clear choice - carry out their normal duties expected from the POA ie work OR strike as instructed to by their Labour backed Unions. (thank you Jacinda)More hypocracy followed when the Union asked the Employment Court to rule that the POA actions were illegal while the Unions were endorsing strike action?????The Port Company were left few options, particularly as more strikes would only lose them more customers and their revenue to other ports.These sacked workers could apply for jobs with the Maritime Union or Trade Union Councils, and then if they went on strike - no one else in Auckland would be affected or care.Meanwhile at the Port of Tauranga apparently 90% of all the workers employed by wharf sub contractors have a financial stake in their companies, attracting annual bonuses. The word "strike" is not part of their culture as a strike would only hurt their company and subsequently themselves.Two different models for people to think about - One is outdated and relies on Industrial muscle and the other is what we would expect in a modern society - employee stake holder inclusive!!!!I know which model that I would rather work for!!!!!!!
9/03/2012 1:19:36 a.m.
Well these managements need to learn a lesson. The labour force and workers are being taken for granted, be it ports or private enterprise.
We need to change our labour laws.
8/03/2012 11:50:39 p.m.
The union forced the ports of Auckland to employee outsourced labour to man the port while they took their 4 week holiday - AKA strike.Talk about stuppid. Business 101 is you dont force a business to use another alternative product when your trying to sell that product. But then the union has zero business sense.NZ has seen too much strife from the union. What about all the job costs outside Ports of Auckland - costs due to the rampaging tyrants taking their 4 week holiday?Ports of Auckland has lost existing contracts, and growth has gone elsewhere to avoid the maritime union. Added costs to business with extra transport costs, extra labour, goods not delivered in timely fashion, higher shipping costs due to disruption by the union. The port has lost about $30 mil, while its customers have lost probably over $300 mil and it will have cost jobs. But the maritime union doesn't care about those workers who have lost jobs due to its industrial action as it doesn't care about anyone but its only petty tyrants.Its over 50 years of industrial action the union has used to ransom NZ for cushy conditions and the industrial action for over a year topped with yet another strike for 4 weeks - the union took it too far leaving the port with no choice.The port wanted a collective agreement as outsourcing will cost more as the contractors will have their margin ie middlemen. Alternatively the contracting out will allow more accountability so it wil be more efficient and it removes the future problem that has been the bane of NZ businesses and their employees for over 50 years - the maritime union. So contracting out will cost more, but they will get more from it, and load/unload ships in more timely fashion - which is the whole point the port had been trying to convince the union of for over a year!
8/03/2012 11:37:22 p.m.
Buggar them, these guys are on absolutely ridiculous wages and the benefits are better than public servants!! If they don't wanna shut up and go back to work, I'll do it, even half their average salary is more than I make fulltime!!!
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