Maritime workers are celebrating tonight after a successful resolution of the Port of Napier dispute in mediation this afternoon.
Maritime Union General Secretary Trevor Hanson says the week long dispute had been about secure local jobs being preserved at the port.
“We wanted shipping companies to be able to use stevedores where secure local jobs could be achieved. Shipping companies wanted a solution, we supplied one, and the port is back in action as of now.”
Mr Hanson says officials went down to the picket line this afternoon to break the good news shortly before 3pm.
“We’ve had our members out on the port gates for nearly a week, and today there was a great sense of relief that these workers will have work tomorrow and into the future.”
Mr Hanson says the picket will be taken off the gates immediately, and workers will be working around the clock over the weekend to clear the backlog of work before Christmas.
“The port was effectively shut down during this dispute and now it will be back to business as usual.”
Mr Hanson says the dispute had been unnecessary, and had caused damage to the reputation of the port, but the Union would seek to ensure a successful year in 2008 as long as secure jobs were available to local people.
He says the defining moments of the dispute were the tenacity of the local workers who manned 24 hour pickets on the port gates, the support of other unions and the CTU, and the massive global support from the international working class including the Maritime Union of Australia and the International Transport Workers Federation.