Maritime Union members to meet during 24 hour strike at Ports of Auckland

The Maritime Union says it is committed to a resolution in the Ports of Auckland dispute, and members will be discussing a way forward during a one day strike that starts tonight.

Around 300 workers in the Ports of Auckland container terminal stevedoring, road, rail, shuttle and engineering services areas will withdraw labour for a 24 hour period starting at 10.59pm on Tuesday 2 December.

Maritime Union Local 13 President Denis Carlisle says workers will meet on Wednesday during the strike to seek a way forward.

He says the Union is concerned at the approach of management to the dispute.

“A good start would be for Ports of Auckland CEO Mr Jens Madsen to spend some more time at the negotiating table rather than worsening the situation with inflammatory public statements and attacks on the Union.”

“This would send a message that the Ports of Auckland were serious about solutions.”

Mr Carlisle says the Ports of Auckland have made a number of unilateral proposals recently, but these had not been the result of negotiation and were a way for management to give the impression of action with no substance.

“This is not a realistic way for the Company to approach negotiations.”

“Management can make as many offers as they want, but since they failed to provide workers with a chance to discuss their proposals, management’s commitment to resolving the dispute is in question. It may be part of a broader anti-union agenda.”

He says that due to shiftwork at the port, it is impossible to get all union members together to discuss proposed settlements unless there is a stoppage.

“We provided the option of a planned eight hour stopwork meeting at a convenient time, but the Company refused. So we have withdrawn our labour for one day to provide the time and space for members to discuss the situation.”

Mr Carlisle says the Union will consult its members for a mandate before it responds to any proposal.

“The company has made all sorts of proposals but have not addressed some core issues such as casual employment.”

The use of out of town labour in the port had also caused concern for Ports of Auckland workers, he says.

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