The Maritime Union has criticized the circulation of a “fact sheet” produced for the Ports of Auckland Limited (POAL) management that repeats incorrect information.
Maritime Union of New Zealand National President Garry Parsloe says not only is the “fact sheet” misleading, but it is a symptom of a deeply politicized management who need to be brought under control by the ports shareholders.
Mr Parsloe says the document produced by Ernst and Young indicates that management are now engaged in an expensive and unaccountable public relations war against their own employees, funded by Auckland ratepayers.
He says the Ports of Auckland Limited do not have this new fact sheet obviously available on their own corporate website [as of 9pm 24 January 2012], but it has appeared during the day on various right wing blogs including National Party affiliated individuals in what appears to be a political campaign by senior managers at the Port.
Mr Parsloe says the Ernst and Young produced fact sheet repeats the misinformation propagated by POAL management.
He says it avoids the fundamental issues in this dispute which are about security of employment and privatisation, not pay rates.
Mr Parsloe says POAL management has offered to increase pay by 10% over 30 months, while the union is asking for a far more modest 2.5% increase for 12 months.
Originally POAL management claimed stevedore wages were averaging $91,000 for 26 hours work. The new fact sheet shows this to be incorrect.
The new POAL fact sheet claims the average salary is $91,000 but does not say what hours are needed to earn this amount of money – it is clear many hours are needed at the rate of $27 per hour including many shifts and overtime hours.
The fact sheet claims the average hours are 43 per week but does not say what a person on these hours would earn or what a person must work to earn $91,000. This is because significant extra hours are required to earn this type of income.
The fact sheet admits the figure of $91,000 continues to include other employment related costs and not simply wages (a point not made clear in original statements from the Port).
The fact sheet fails to acknowledge that the union position in bargaining was to increase labour utilisation rates at the Port in a way POAL management acknowledged was “significant” in terms of this issue and “big” in terms of cost savings – but this was rejected by the company in favour of contracting out.
If as the port fact sheet says, the real issue is the amount of downtime, then the Port needs to explain why proposals to address this were rejected in recent negotiations with the union, says Mr Parsloe.