Maritime Union of New Zealand workers at Port Chalmers voted down redundancy proposal for the second time
The Maritime Union of New Zealand has rejected future talks with Port Otago on its proposal for 35 redundancies at Port Chalmers, vowing action will be taken "when the first person goes".
NZ transport unions are at loggerheads with Port Otago, which wants to implement 35 redundancies due to a container downturn.
A meeting of 250 union members yesterday, said cargo handlers were "always targeted" in redundancy rounds as opposed to management changes, MUNZ Port Chalmers secretary and national president Phil Adams, told the local press.
"When the first person goes, we'll call a meeting to decide our next action. Until then, we want nothing to do with it [talks]," Phil Adams said.
A strike was narrowly avoided in August but talks resumed, after workers voted down management proposals.
"The proposals will either reduce our conditions of employment and health and safety, or lead to redundancies. Our members will not accept these outcomes," Phil Adams told the local media in August.
The port has had 20 strike-free years, but a dispute looms if redundancy notices are handed out.
MUNZ has received support for the Port Chalmers members' stance from union branches around the country, the International Transport Workers Federation and affiliated Maritime Union of Australia.
Around 200 union members halted work around the port and packed the Union hall yesterday in one of the largest meetings of recent years.
The August stopwork meeting was filmed by local television and can be viewed on their website.