Maritime Union to fight Ports of Auckland redundancies

The Maritime Union says it will fight a decision to sack workers at the Ports of Auckland.

Ports of Auckland management today announced they are effectively shutting down the permanent workforce at the Bledisloe Terminal at the Ports of Auckland with the loss of 28 jobs.

Maritime Union of New Zealand Local 13 President Denis Carlisle says the Union is looking at all the options to save jobs.

Mr Carlisle says the situation will be top of the agenda at a meeting of the Maritime Union national executive tomorrow in Wellington.

He says the Union are looking at the “full range” of responses to management actions, including legal action.

“Obviously the company’s consultation wasn’t a serious exercise, and this decision is their way of trying to assert themselves.”

Mr Carlisle says the moves by the Port Company are due to the fact they couldn’t achieve their goals through negotiation.

“The Maritime Union says this is a very short-sighted move by management, as they are going to lose skilled workers with massive experience working in a uniquely demanding environment.”

He says the company will then struggle to replace the workers in future.

“We are not looking at a company that is unprofitable or struggling. The Ports of Auckland as a public owned enterprise has a social responsibility towards its workforce whose income goes back into the local economy. They can afford to take the long view and develop a culture of secure jobs for highly skilled workers, not the hack and slash approach which is causing so much social harm to New Zealand.”

Mr Carlisle says he is concerned management will manipulate the re-employment process to attack active union members.

“Management say that there will be work available at Fergusson Terminal for some of those made redundant, but we are concerned this will be used as a ploy to target individuals who are active in the Union.”

He says the Union is continuing to meet with the Port Company and would consider any options that would protect the livelihoods of its members.

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