Ports of Auckland could be branded first ever port of convenience

The ports of Auckland in New Zealand could be declared the first ever port of convenience if management does not put a stop to its savage attack on union rights, the ITF has warned.

Workers represented by the ITF-affiliated Maritime Union of New Zealand (MUNZ) have been locked in an escalating dispute over a new collective bargaining agreement.

The MUNZ and Ports of Auckland Limited (POAL) had been close to signing a new agreement, which saw the union agreeing to greater use of a productivity improvement process known as TRACC.

However, it has recently been reported that POAL management is now taking the provocative step of attempting to remove the collective bargaining agreement with MUNZ altogether.

It is also threatening the whole workforce of some 300 dockers with dismissal if they do not sign up to an agreement imposed by management.

In a letter to Tony Gibson, chief executive officer of POAL, ITF president Paddy Crumlin and ITF general secretary David Cockroft said: “The ITF considers this behaviour as an outrageous attack on basic trade union rights. If this attempt to force workers to abandon their existing agreements continues, the ITF will declare the port of Auckland a ‘port of convenience’ and will request affiliates around the world , particularly in the dockers’ and seafarers’ sections, to take immediate lawful action.”

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