Ports Of Auckland Workers Take Their Cause to The Streets

[First published on scoop.co.nz 8 February 2012]

Ports of Auckland workers have taken their campaign for secure jobs to the streets this week.

Over three hundred workers at the Ports of Auckland are under attack, with management threatening to contract out their jobs and casualize the workforce.

Now the workers are taking their cause direct to the public.

A major campaign supporting the workers has rolled out this week, starting with a letter addressed to all Aucklanders being distributed as an insert in community newspapers, covering 360,000 households in the greater Auckland area.

The letter is entitled "Setting the record straight" and puts the facts behind the current dispute at Ports of Auckland direct to the public.

Workers and supporters will be operating information stalls at upcoming community events, as well as distributing thousands of informational postcards to rush hour commuters.

A new campaign website saveourport.com has gone live with links to information and an online petition.

Maritime Union of New Zealand National President Garry Parsloe says the new campaign was an indication of how serious the dispute was for workers.

"The workers at the Ports of Auckland are very aware that this is a direct attack on job security, and that they are in the front line defending secure jobs for all workers," he says.

"This is a battle against casualisation and for the right of all workers to secure jobs."

The Maritime Union is mobilizing nationally and branches throughout the country had pledged full support for Ports of Auckland workers.

Mr Parsloe says extensive support has been forthcoming from the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions and its affiliates representing hundreds of thousands of New Zealand workers.

"We are proud to say that many of the workers assisting with our campaign are from other unions, who understand that the issues of casualisation and contracting out affect all of us."

Mr Parsloe says global support from the International Transport Workers' Federation, representing around 4.5 million workers worldwide, and its affiliates, has also been extensive.