The two main waterfront unions have condemned a proposal to slash 12 jobs at Port Otago.
The Maritime Union of New Zealand (MUNZ) is backing calls by the Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU) for the Government to step in to ensure new rail rolling stock for Auckland is made in New Zealand.
Two of New Zealand’s main transport unions have formed a strategic alliance focussed on the New Zealand waterfront.
The Maritime Union of New Zealand says an agreement it has reached with Port Otago Limited is a “win win” situation that will prevent job losses.
Maritime Union National President Phil Adams says a meeting of 150 cargo handlers held yesterday at Port Chalmers voted in favour of a proposal hammered out by the Unions and the Company.
Members of the Maritime Union of New Zealand and the Rail and Maritime Transport Union attended the meeting.
Mr Adams says the proposal will see no compulsory redundancies amongst the workforce.
“We believe the workforce will respond to the Company’s efforts by continuing to ensure a high level of productivity.”
The Ports of Auckland has been put on notice from Unions that it will have to train its own workforce rather than fly in staff from other ports.
The port company wants to transfer skilled labour from Wellington and Lyttelton to keep up with work after 12 weeks ago laying off a substantial number of workers.
Maritime Union of New Zealand National Vice President Garry Parsloe says the situation is a result of the port company ignoring Union advice.
“They were told there were too many redundancies, and it would create a shortage of skilled workers. Now this has happened.”
He says that the Maritime Union would only agree for Unionised workers being transferred into Auckland if there was a written commitment from the Ports of Auckland to train a sufficient number of its own workforce.
The Employment Court in Wellington today declined to put an injunction on possible pickets by workers at the Port of Napier as pickets loom over the summer.
Moves by the Port of Napier to contract out stevedoring work threaten 25 permanent and 60 casual jobs, with workers to be thrown on the scrap heap just before Christmas.