Officials from the International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF) today reported from Auckland, where they are investigating Ports of Auckland Limited management's disastrous labour decisions and the ongoing struggle to protect jobs.
ITF president Paddy Crumlin said: "Two things are without doubt. One is the determination of MUNZ and Auckland's wharfies to sort this out and get the port working again for the benefit of the city, the country and the people of Auckland, who, through their council, actually own it. The other is that POAL's management has treated this whole operation so catastrophically ham-fistedly that it's become an international debacle and an embarrassment for the city."
"My colleagues and I have come here on behalf of dockworkers around the world, who have been shocked at what is being tried on here. We will be reporting to them, to Auckland's trading partners, and to consumers of this country's exports and to the international shipowners with whom the ITF have long and mature relationships."
"We have today met with the mayor of Auckland and unashamedly raised the fact that we believe that POAL's chairman and CEO are not fit to continue to head a board that is as seriously split over their tactics. And the Council it reports to also needs to be held to account for the commercial, industrial, political and human damage their actions have incurred.
"We have made it known to the mayor and council the potential backlash that is brewing outside his office, internationally, in the world of shipping, and among this city and country's business community, who have simply had enough of the strife this mismanagement has created."
"We sincerely hope that the people of Auckland, the council and the mayor will now ensure that this dispute is brought to an end and POAL is run in the way it should be."