Seven Day Full Strike For Ports Of Auckland

The Maritime Union of New Zealand has this afternoon placed a new 7 day full strike notice on the Ports of Auckland. Strike action would start 7am on 24 February 2012.

This is in addition to a partial strike notice that is already in place from 7am on 15 February 2012 until 7am on 22 February 2012, when workers will not work with containers moved by outsourced labour at POAL subsidiary Conlinxx.

Maritime Union National President Garry Parsloe says the industrial action is a response to the imminent threat to workers livelihoods.

"The port company is planning to make our members redundant and contract out their jobs. This casualisation exercise is a direct attack on conditions of work and secure, permanent jobs."

He says the port company management did not understand the consequences of the extreme course of action they have embarked on.

"It is an attack on the port workforce and their families and is bringing the future of the Ports of Auckland into grave danger."

Mr Parsloe says that if progress is made and management return to negotiations then industrial action may be reconsidered.

"These industrial actions are intended to focus the attention of management on the real issues, and the importance of secure jobs to our members."

Mr Parsloe says a meeting of the Auckland Council's Accountability and Performance Committee questioned ACIL Chief Executive Gary Swift this morning and was told by Mr Swift that outsourcing the workforce at the Ports of Auckland was a last resort and the preference was for a collective employment agreement to be negotiated.

The Council meeting this morning received the 2010/2011 annual report of Auckland Council Investments Limited, the owners of Ports of Auckland.

Mr Parsloe says the report outlined the profitability and success of the port.

The annual report notes cargo and container volumes had achieved record levels, that all time best crane rates for loading containers had been achieved in what was described in the report as a "great annual result" after a "challenging year", and ship turnaround times had also reached new record levels of achievement.

Mr Parsloe says the report flatly contradicts the so-called productivity crisis that had been manufactured by port management and promoted in the media, damaging the ports reputation.

He says the results were a credit to the workforce who were now under threat of outsourcing by management.