The Maritime Union says that the Ports of Auckland management has deliberately undermined negotiations by releasing letters to its employees to hostile political activists.
Maritime Union National President Garry Parsloe says the far right wing political blogger Cameron Slater of Whale Oil blog was boasting on his website about being given letters about current negotiations intended for Ports of Auckland employees by Ports of Auckland management.
The letters had been uploaded into the public domain and used as the basis for vituperative attacks on Ports of Auckland workers by the blog.
Mr Parsloe says this “massive disrespect” by management had been greeted with disbelief by Maritime Union members at Ports of Auckland.
“Not only has Ports of Auckland CEO Tony Gibson gone against the specific requests of Maritime Union members to negotiate through their elected officials rather than bombarding them with letters, he has now gone beyond the pale by sending hostile political activists complete misinformation about wages and confidential letters to his own staff.”
Mr Parsloe says he now has a challenge for Ports of Auckland CEO Tony Gibson.
“The challenge is for him to immediately release all documentation regarding his salary and perks, and that of all senior management at Ports of Auckland, into the public domain for open discussion.”
“Let the public decide whether he is worth his wages and special benefits. Considering the unfolding disaster he has created at his workplace, they may be surprised at his generous remuneration.”
Mr Parsloe says Ports of Auckland workers were angry by claims of inflated wages when many worked hundreds of hours of overtime a year on round the clock shifts including overnight, weekends and public holidays in a heavy industrial environment.
“Mr Gibson has politicized this dispute by involving extremist political activists in our negotiations.”
“It’s extremely hard to get negotiations on track when Mr Gibson continues to destroy his relationship with employees by strange and bizarre actions like this.”
Mr Parsloe says the involvement of other third parties in the dispute such as the Auckland Chamber of Commerce, who were running a clandestine email campaign based on discredited information, had also set back negotiations at the Ports of Auckland.
Mr Parsloe says if Mr Gibson wants to involve extremist right wing bloggers, the Chamber of Commerce, and other external unrelated third parties in negotiations, then he was entitled to do this.
“He can negotiate with his friends all he wants. Unfortunately none of them work at Ports of Auckland moving containers and carrying out all the essential work around the Port, so it is hard to see how it is going to achieve much.”
“In the case of Ports of Auckland workers, Mr Gibson’s credibility is at an all time low. This should be of major concern to local users of the port who will continue to be disadvantaged and disrupted by the failure to get negotiations back on track by Mr Gibson.”