February 27, 2024

Port Unions say Port of Lyttelton should be held in local ownership

The two Unions representing port workers in New Zealand have come out against a proposed deal that would see the Port of Lyttelton pass into effective control of multinational corporate Hutchison.

The Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU) and the Maritime Union of New Zealand (MUNZ) are working together to promote local control of the port.

Rail and Maritime Transport Union General Secretary Wayne Butson says the sell-off means a vital piece of New Zealand infrastructure will be effectively going into overseas control, with serious repercussions for the New Zealand economy.

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Maritime Union says it’s time to connect the dots on Flag of Convenience fishing

The Maritime Union has welcomed New Zealand signing up to an international crackdown on illegal fishing – which also provides a clear opportunity to solve the abuse and exploitation of maritime workers.

Fisheries ministers from Australia, Britain, Canada, Chile, Namibia and New Zealand have agreed to a plan which will mean global tracking of fishing vessels, as well as an online database of their names, location and history, to help uncover illegal fishing.

Maritime Union General Secretary Trevor Hanson says the plan means that “half of the problem” is being seriously addressed.

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European dockers victory shows global tide turning against “pirate capitalism”

The Maritime Union says a major Union victory in Europe for job security for port workers signals a turning of the tide in the global maritime industry.

The European Parliament voted overwhelmingly on 18 January 2006 to throw out a plan to extend corporate control over European ports.

On 16 January, 6000 dockers from 16 European countries mounted a strong protest against the plan in Strasbourg, France, in defence of jobs, working conditions, health and safety, and the quality of port services.

Maritime Union General Secretary Trevor Hanson says it is a major victory that was gained by an active campaign by workers – and which has implications for the New Zealand industry.

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Maritime Union members will refuse to work whaling ships

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.

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Maritime Union calls for fishing industry wage hike

The Maritime Union has welcomed the announcement by Minister of Immigration David Cunliffe that the current system regulating overseas crews in the fishing industry will be overhauled.

Maritime Union General Secretary Trevor Hanson says official recognition that crews are being underpaid and exploited is an important first step.

Mr Hanson says he agrees with the Government the seafood industry is important for New Zealand, but this does not translate into allowing employers to do whatever they want.

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A grim Christmas for foreign fishing crews

The Maritime Union says the arrest of shipjumpers in Nelson is not solving the cause of the problem.
Six Vietnamese shipjumpers were arrested on Tuesday night in Nelson.
Maritime Union General Secretary Trevor Hanson says action is needed to ensure that crew members are being employed under decent conditions.
“This Christmas, there will be overseas crews working in New Zealand waters in dangerous conditions, for low pay, suffering abuse and exploitation, while we turn a blind eye because it is making a fat profit for someone.”

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Time for lid to be lifted on fishing industry disgrace

The Maritime Union says the shipjumping of eight Indonesians in Wellington from the fishing vessel ‘San Liberatore’ was entirely predictable as the ship had a history of problems.

Maritime Union General Secretary Trevor Hanson says the Union had to intervene on two occasions this year when overseas crew members on the ‘San Liberatore’ were being made to do waterfront work normally done by New Zealand workers.

“There have been Government reports saying there is abuse going on aboard these fishing vessels in New Zealand waters – why don’t we put the spotlight on the companies operating these vessels, rather than the workers?”

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