Ports of Auckland dispute about job security – not wages
Repeated claims made in the media that the Ports of Auckland dispute is about wages are factually incorrect.
Maritime Union National President Garry Parsloe says the public have a right to know that the dispute is actually about job security.
He says due to the misinformation campaign, the Union would put the general points of its offer to the port company into the public domain.
As part of its offer to the company, the Maritime Union wanted work on container shuttles on the waterfront operated by MUNZ members to remain, with any overflow work to be negotiated.
The Maritime Union had proposed a realistic percentage increase on wages, with the current collective agreement and all terms and conditions including rosters rolled over for the term of the agreement.
The union had agreed to continue to work with the company on productivity, and drug and alcohol policy.
“In return our main request is that the jobs of our members are not contracted out as continually threatened by the port company as part of a strategy to undermine their employees job security.”
“This dispute is about retaining job security, and ensuring workers have a family life that is not further disrupted by unsocial shifts and job insecurity.”
Mr Parsloe says that offers made by Ports of Auckland management were simply cut and paste jobs with management appearing to want to talk to everyone but its workforce.
“The quantity of the offers is not the point. The quality and the genuine nature of the negotiations are what matter. One hundred offers are pointless if they are one hundred offers of rubbish.”
Mr Parsloe says all New Zealand workers deserved secure jobs and a family life outside work.
He says the Union is always prepared to negotiate and wanted a resolution, but would not give away hard won job security.
Mr Parsloe says a misinformation campaign about wages and conditions at the port needed to be corrected, and he suggested the media examined the figures being thrown about more closely.
“Maritime Union figures show that a stevedore would have to work around 32 weeks of overtime a year to earn the figure the employer is stating, on top their base rate of 50-60K.
“What’s more, those hours would be worked on round the clock shifts every day of the year.”
Mr Parsloe says the Maritime Union gives a categorical assurance to the public of New Zealand that we’d happily settle for $10 000 less a year for a 40 hour week than that figure they are saying we are getting at the moment for a 26 hour week. So there is no need to talk about the money any more, which was never the issue anyway.
He says the only people possibly earning inflated salaries at Ports of Auckland are senior management.
“We have repeatedly called for Ports of Auckland management to release a breakdown of the salaries, perks and leave provisions of senior management so the public have the full picture.”
“They continue to ignore this request, which indicates they don’t want the information made public. They are happy to misrepresent their workers, but not prepared to open themselves up to transparency, which we believe is quite shameful.”