The Maritime Union says Ports of Auckland must be held accountable for the significant disruption they are imposing on Auckland.
A Chamber of Commerce survey reported today details the effect of the prolonged employment negotiations on Auckland businesses.
Maritime Union Garry Parsloe said that the negotiations should have been completed months ago.
“The reality is we have been continually trying to second guess what Port management really needs to get this employment agreement sorted.”
“We have tried several times to address rostering and utilisation issues, and recently tabled further a comprehensive new proposal.”
“The only response we have ever got is that they want total flexibility in the workplace and proposals that would see wharfies having no guaranteed days off, no protection against casualisation and a package that would significantly reduce their pay.”
Garry Parsloe said the problems identified in the Chamber survey were in addition to the impact of the dispute on workers in related industries like logistics and retail, customers, and residents of Auckland who all want this issue resolved.
“The Ports are one of Auckland’s most important assets, and they need to be run well on behalf of the city’s residents.”
“As current guardians of this asset, Ports management and governance are frankly not up to the job. They need to be held accountable for the inconvenience and cost to Aucklanders.”
“A complete change of culture is needed at Ports of Auckland, and people brought in who can run this asset properly for Auckland.”
Garry Parsloe said that although Chamber of Commerce head Michael Barnett has identified the problem he hasn’t offered any solutions.
“Instead of blinding supporting the Port company, why doesn’t he step up and put his energy into actually finding a solution, to get back the productive working Port we once had before Port leadership started mismanaging it so badly during these negotiations.”
“Barnett represents an old fashioned response to industrial relations, and it’s time we had modern employer organisations in New Zealand.”
The parties will next week jointly seek facilitation from the Employment Relations Authority, and Garry Parsloe said the Maritime Union would be taking all of the facilitator’s recommendations seriously.