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.
Tagged: casual workers
Maritime Union General Secretary Joe Fleetwood says employers and Government agencies appear to be turning a blind eye to unsafe working conditions in New Zealand ports.
He says there have been ongoing feedback from workers that paints a picture of a decline in standards in many ports.
Mr Fleetwood says that the recession and increasing competition for available cargo in New Zealand ports means many employers are cutting corners.
The Maritime Union says the National Government’s plan to act as a compulsory recruitment agency for McDonalds fast food chain is a travesty.
Social Development Minister Paula Bennett has described an agreement between WINZ and McDonalds that will provide up to 7000 unemployed workers for the fast-food chain’s growth plans over the next five years.
Maritime Union General Secretary Trevor Hanson says the scheme has two beneficiaries – a Government with a failing jobs policy, and a global corporation that will suck profits out of New Zealand.
The Maritime Union says that protection for casual workers in the economic recession is a major focus for 2009.
Maritime Union General Secretary Trevor Hanson says the Union is interested in meeting with the incoming Minister of Labour in the new National-led Government to discuss the plight of casual workers.
The Maritime Union says that action must be taken to protect both local jobs and overseas workers in New Zealand industries after recent comments from Opposition immigration spokesperson Lockwood Smith about overseas workers caused an uproar.
Maritime Union General Secretary Trevor Hanson says a progressive downward pressure on wages, conditions and local jobs is spreading throughout large areas of the New Zealand economy, including the horticulture and viticulture sector.
“We are very aware of this problem in the fishing industry and with flag of convenience shipping, and also with attempts to displace waterfront labour.”
The Maritime Union of New Zealand has warned against the takeover of New Zealand ports after shipping giant COSCO announced its interest in buying into New Zealand ports this week.
The Chinese state owned multinational corporation COSCO is one of the world’s largest shipping lines.
Maritime Union spokesperson Victor Billot says the Union is opposed to handing control of ports over to global operators.
The Maritime Union says a new employment Bill before Parliament is good news for casual workers.
Maritime Union General Secretary Trevor Hanson says that many New Zealand workers are struggling with the insecurity of casual work.
The Maritime Union welcomed the Bill which featured increased powers for Labour Inspectors to determine whether workers were fixed-term or permanent employees, and tests to determine whether a worker has progressed from casual to permanent employment.
The Maritime Union has welcomed a Government announcement that it intends to improve protections for casual workers.
Maritime Union General Secretary Trevor Hanson says the Union has been arguing since 1991 that the practice of employing casual labour on the waterfront is degrading and unfair.
“It is similar to the situation of a century ago when workers lined up for work at the port gate, and many were victimized or refused work.”