Napier maritime workers boosted by international support

Workers on the Maritime Union picket line at the Port of Napier were told early this morning that tens of thousands of dollars of solidarity donations were flooding in from around the world.

A hardship fund is being set up to look after the workers, many of whom are casual workers, as they face a tough Christmas.

A round the clock picket has been held since 6am Saturday and will continue until resolution of the dispute.

Rain has not dampened the spirit of the workers who are receiving strong support from local people.

Groups of workers have been arriving from around North Island ports today to relieve the picket line.

Maritime Union General Secretary Trevor Hanson says some local workers have spent nearly every waking hour on the picket line, and have been told by the Union to go home and get some rest.

“The level of commitment here is incredible.”

Mr Hanson says the workers have the full support of the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) that represents millions of workers around the world.

“The ITF have identified the Port of Napier as a port that is attacking secure jobs, and this is already having a major effect on shipping in the port.”

Mediation takes place today in Napier between the Union and management.

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