Maritime Union National President Garry Parsloe says Ports of Auckland management is trying to get off the hook from its involvement with extreme right wing bloggers during the Ports of Auckland dispute.
Information revealed in Nicky Hager’s new book “Dirty Politics” shows that the POAL management were acting in close concert with “attack” bloggers and their associates in an anti-union campaign.
Mr Parsloe says CEO Tony Gibson and the Board must reveal what relationships and dealings it had with right wing attack bloggers, whether paid or unpaid.
He says it was obvious there was a network encompassing right wing bloggers and their political associates, and senior figures at the Ports, as outlined in the book.
“It seems that an inner circle, many with no connection to the Port, were in the know about an agenda that the owners of the port, the people of Auckland, were kept in the dark about.”
Mr Parsloe says Auckland City must ask the POAL Board and Management was its focus on concluding negotiations – or was it engaged in an ideological crusade against its workforce?
He repeated his query as to the price tag for external consultancy and public relations services supplied to POAL during the dispute.
He says a statement by a POAL spokesperson that he was “pretty confident” money paid to outside advisers at the time of the dispute did not go to a blogger was a cavalier response, given the seriousness of the situation.
“Auckland City must demand a yes or no answer from the CEO, not weasel words.”
“The owners of the port must demand a categorical assurance from the Board and management that payments were not being funnelled to bloggers or similar agents through outside contractors retained by the Port.”
“This question must be answered by the CEO and the Chair of the Board, on the public record.”
There was no transparency or accountability as to how ratepayers money had been spent by the Ports of Auckland pursuing an agenda against their own workforce, says Mr Parsloe.