The Maritime Union says its members will refuse to work with any Japanese ship involved in whaling that visits a New Zealand port.
Maritime Union General Secretary Trevor Hanson says the Union supports the two environmental groups Greenpeace and Sea Shepherd in their attempts to end Japanese whaling in the Southern Ocean.
Mr Hanson says the escalating situation increased the potential for Japanese ships and planes involved in the whaling operation to visit New Zealand.
“Maritime unionists will not be working those ships.”
He says the Maritime Union sees the whaling issue as a part of a wider maritime crisis with overfishing, exploitation of maritime workers and “flag of convenience” shipping.
Mr Hanson says that when the polite approach fails, the use of non-violent direct action is the best method.
“In many cases the exploitation of the maritime environment goes hand in hand with the mistreatment of maritime workers, but because it is out of sight, out of mind off the coast, it is easy to ignore.”
He says the New Zealand Government should send a frigate to observe and provide moral support for the protests.
“The Japanese whalers are trying to bluff their way through, but a strong united message now could be the final push needed to end this practice.”