Maritime Union calling for international support for Telecom engineers

The Maritime Union has added its weight to the struggle of Telecom lines engineers fighting to protect their jobs.

Maritime Union of New Zealand General Secretary Trevor Hanson says maritime workers will be supporting the Telecom lines engineers, who are members of the EPMU, in their battle against contracting out.

He says a special national executive meeting of the Maritime Union has been called for Monday, which will be followed by communications with the International Transport Workers Federation based in London and its New Zealand union affiliates, as well as Australian maritime unions.

“Telecom and Visionstream imports through New Zealand and international ports will now come under close scrutiny especially if they are related to the current dispute and the broadband rollout.”

He says all workers should realize the threat to their livelihoods through contracting out and Telecom was forcing workers into financial risk at a time of great insecurity.

“This is a major dispute and all workers should be supporting the Telecom lines engineers because it is them today and us tomorrow.”

“This type of contracting out forces employees into becoming dependent contractors in order to reduce their wages and conditions.”

He says maritime workers will be supporting rallies by Telecom lines engineers on Monday in Wellington and Auckland.

Mr Hanson says the Maritime Union and the EPMU are part of the “Oil and Gas Alliance” which unites workers in the offshore oil and gas industry and were working closely together.

New Zealand affiliates of the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) include the Maritime Union of New Zealand, the EPMU, the Rail and Maritime Transport Union, the Merchant Service Guild, the National Distribution Union and the Aviation and Marine Engineers Association.

The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) is made up of 681 unions representing 4,500,000 transport workers in 148 countries. It is one of several Global Union Federations allied with the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC).

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