Workers at Ports of Auckland dig in heels in dispute

Maritime workers at the Ports of Auckland are digging in their heels against their employer and will be stopping work on Tuesday 8 October 2007 from 10am to 1.15pm.

The Maritime Union of New Zealand have given notice of further rolling stoppages at the same time on 17 October and 22 October.

Maritime Union Auckland Waterfront Branch Local 13 President Denis Carlisle says negotiations are ongoing but management had yet to make the “head shift” required to get resolution.

“We’re confident that they will soon come around. Our requests are reasonable and the workers will be happy to get back into it as soon as they feel they have been listened to.”

Mr Carlisle says the stoppages will be for a symbolic 3.25 hours each.

“This is a reflection of the workers feelings on the recent actions of the employer and the 3.25% wage increase they are trying to force workers to accept.”

He says the Port Company has continued to make unauthorized payments into workers bank accounts of the 3.25% pay increase that managers had decided was the amount they should have.

“Obviously the workers see this tactic for what it is, and are united and determined to see a good outcome arrived at by genuine negotiation, not by managers trying to bypass the process.”

Over 250 maritime workers carried out a two day strike last week in support of their pay claim of between 4.5 per cent to 4.9 per cent.

Mr Carlisle says other issues include back pay and bringing a new group of workers into the collective agreement.

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