MUA Monitors Developments At Ports Of Auckland

The Maritime Union of Australia continues to keep a close eye on developments at Ports of Auckland.

MUA National Secretary Paddy Crumlin cautiously welcomed news that Auckland port workers have won a court injunction against having their jobs contracted out until mid-May.

Ports of Auckland Limited has undertaken to pay eight days' wages to permanent staff who voted last Thursday to end a four-week strike.

But there is still no guarantee that the unionied workforce will be allowed back onto the wharves, with a company-induced lockout still in place.

"Many of the shipping companies concerned are reportedly highly concerned and agitated that the Ports of Auckland management did not allow its workforce to return to work," Mr Crumlin said.

"Auckland Council needs to show some leadership and intervene to find a workable solution to the dispute.

"MUA members should always remember that this dispute could be happening anywhere and we all need to be on guard to ensure our hard fought rights and conditions are protected."

There have been rallies in Australia and around the globe including outside NZ embassies and consulates in support of the MUNZ struggle.

The Maritime Union of New Zealand reported that the NZ Employment Court yesterday confirmed the union had an arguable case that Ports of Auckland had acted unlawfully in some aspects related to collective bargaining.

Until the matter could be heard in full on 16 May, the Court has ordered Ports of Auckland against proceeding with its plans to dismiss and replace its workers.

On Friday the Court will consider the issues of the return to work of the workers who ended strike action last week, and of the legality of the Port lock out notice effective from 6 April.

MUNZ president Garry Parsloe said the parties can keep slogging the issues out in Court, but in the end the solution to this issue is finishing negotiations for a collective employment agreement, to get the Ports of Auckland up and working again.

"Ports workers remain ready to return to work and get the Ports working on behalf of the businesses and customers of Auckland," Mr Parsloe said.

"The people of Auckland are losing millions a day in returns, exporters and importers and other businesses are bearing extra costs and the workers are facing severe financial hardship.

"The only group that appear to be having a good time is the Ports of Auckland Board. 

"Aucklanders need to question why Board members continue to collect their massive salaries for initiating a train wreck of a plan that now is not only in tatters, but is unlikely to be resurrected."