Shipping Giant Advised To Bypass Auckland

ITF warns Chinese shipping line OCCL to give Auckland as miss as major dispute brews re contracting out of dockers work

The International Transport Workers' Federation has put Auckland ports board on notice over moves to contract out dockers work.

Now ITF Maritime Co-Ordinator Steve Cotton has written to warn the Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL) Hong, one of the world's largest integrated international container transportation, logistics and terminal companies, to avoid Auckland.

The dispute with the Maritime Union of New Zealand and employers over outsourcing of dockers' work to non-dockers is rapidly deteriorating and a showdown looms.

"We have received disturbing information from our affiliated union, the Maritime Union of New Zealand, that whilst the Ports of Auckland Board seem to be in favour of seeking an amicable and acceptable resolution to the outsourcing issue," Steve Cotton wrote.  "It's management team remains opposed."

The Federation representing 4.8m of the worlds transport workers said it was concerned re the welfare of the seafarers working on OCCL vessels calling at the  Ports of Auckland.

"I strongly urge you to consider the Port of Auckland out of bounds and seek alternative ports of call to service your customers' requirements whilst this dispute continues without a satisfactory resolution to our affiliated union, the Maritime Union of New Zealand," he wrote.

ITF President Paddy Crumlin has also thrown his weight behind MUNZ announcing today that as Chair of Docker Section he sees the dispute is another indication of ongoing use of anti union force to reduce and deregulate dockworkers conditions of employment and labour rights.

"This will not be tolerated by the ITF and international dockers unions," he said.


Meanwhile in a separate dispute the Norwegian Seafarers' Union have written to Wilhelmsen Ship Management to alert them that the crew on board NIS flagged vessel they manage is requiring crew to do dockworkers jobs.

The ship is trading between Travemunde and Helsingborg.

"Ships crew shall not be required or induced to carry out cargo handling on vessels where cargo handling traditionally or historically has been done by dockworkers without prior agreement with the ITF affiliated dockers' union concerned," wrote Jacqueline Smith, Norwegian Seafarers' Union.  "The crew has never been required to do such work before.  However to the best of our knowledge, the master has made an arrangement with the crew to perform the lashing.

"This is in violation with ITF policy and we urge you to inform the master to cease this otherwise the vessel could be open for any action the local unions find appropriate."