Ports plans now looking like a train wreck

Today’s injunction stopping Ports of Auckland progressing its plans to dismiss and replace its workforce, combined with the company’s plan of an indefinite lockout, leaves Auckland Council with no choice but to intervene to find a workable solution to the industrial dispute, the Maritime Union said today.

Today the Employment Court confirmed the union had an arguable case that Ports of Auckland had acted unlawfully in some aspects related to collective bargaining.

Until the matter could be heard in full on 16 May, the Court has ordered Ports of Auckland against proceeding with its plans to dismiss and replace its workers.

On Friday the Court will consider the issues of the return to work of the workers who ended strike action last week, and of the legality of the Port lock out notice effective from 6 April.

Maritime Union president Garry Parsloe said the parties can keep slogging the issues out in Court, but in the end the solution to this issue is finishing negotiations for a collective employment agreement, to get the Ports of Auckland up and working again.

“Ports workers remain ready to return to work and get the Ports working on behalf of the businesses and customers of Auckland,” he said.

“The people of Auckland are losing millions a day in returns, exporters and importers and other businesses are bearing extra costs and the workers are facing severe financial hardship.”

“The only group that appear to be having a good time is the Ports of Auckland Board.  Aucklanders need to question why Board members continue to collect their massive salaries for initiating a train wreck of a plan that now is not only in tatters, but is unlikely to be resurrected,” Garry Parsloe said.

The union has asked the Mayor and Council to step in and hopes to address Council at its meeting on Thursday.

Union members will meet tomorrow at noon to discuss today’s developments.

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