Port of Auckland workers gain global support against outsourcing

The Maritime Union of New Zealand has gained international and national support for its stand against management plans to outsource labour at the Ports of Auckland.

Maritime Union Auckland Branch Local 13 President Garry Parsloe says outsourcing and contracting out are regarded by maritime workers around the world as a tool for attacking wages, conditions and job security.

“That is why maritime workers at the Ports of Auckland now have global commitments of solidarity and support for our battle against outsourcing.”

He says last week’s meeting of the International Transport Workers’ Federation in Berlin, Germany, offered its backing to the Maritime Union of New Zealand and its members at Ports of Auckland and passed a resolution of support.

“This is basically the top level of organized labour representing global maritime workers who have lined up behind us, as they are not prepared to allow outsourcing and contracting out be used against workers in a major port such as Auckland.”

The ITF meeting was attended by Mr Parsloe and Maritime Union of New Zealand General Secretary Joe Fleetwood, along with global representatives of dock workers and seafarers including the Maritime Union of Australia and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (North America).

Mr Parsloe is convener of the New Zealand ITF affiliated unions who have also announced their support for the Maritime Union. These unions include MUNZ, the Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU), EPMU, National Distribution Union, New Zealand Merchant Service Guild and Aviation and Marine Engineers Association.

In addition the ITF Offshore Taskforce Group representing global offshore oil and gas workers has offered their support.

“The Maritime Union has also secured the backing of the international Mining and Maritime Unions which met last month in the United States of America.”

Mr Parsloe says the national affiliates of the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions have pledged their support to the Maritime Union, meaning that the Maritime Union had massive international and nationwide backing.

He says in short the Ports of Auckland management must reconsider their position on outsourcing if they are to avoid major repercussions.

Mr Parsloe says that the current Collective Agreement between Ports of Auckland management and the Maritime Union already has provisions for labour flexibility to meet the peaks and troughs of shipping.

The ITF comprises 751 unions representing over 4,600,000 transport workers in 154 countries.

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