Maritime Union prepares to defend Auckland jobs

The Maritime Union says a plan to make Ports of Auckland workers redundant will be met with a strong response.

A national executive meeting of the Maritime Union held in Wellington today endorsed national action in support of the workers whose jobs are threatened at Ports of Auckland.

Representatives of the Auckland workers addressed the national meeting which unanimously endorsed industrial and legal strategies to fight job losses.

Ports of Auckland management announced on Tuesday 12 May they are effectively shutting down the permanent workforce at the Bledisloe Terminal at the Ports of Auckland with the loss of 28 jobs.

Maritime Union of New Zealand Local 13 President Denis Carlisle says industrial action is inevitable unless the Port Company changes direction on destroying livelihoods.

“Many of these workers are under 35 – they have young families and heavy responsibilities, and we are not going to let them be cut adrift by an irresponsible management. Behind every redundancy is a family, children, mortgages, and the inevitable financial and personal hardships.”

He says the Port Company has a social responsibility to its workers and was showing a short-term mindset.

“This so-called restructuring is about attacking the workforce, terms and conditions, and the Union will not allow the company to get away with it.”

The Maritime Union says international support from global maritime and transport workers is being organized.

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