Maritime Union wants answers to Government involvement in Methyl Bromide organization

The Maritime Union has attacked comments by the group Stakeholders in Methyl Bromide Reduction (STIMBR) which downplays valid concerns about the use of the poison gas.

Maritime Union of New Zealand General Secretary Joe Fleetwood has condemned a statement from STIMBR (1 February 2010) entitled “Gas links with disease unfounded” that asserts there is no proof that methyl bromide is connected with motor neuron disease.

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Public Meeting for Port of Timaru – Thursday 17 September 2009

The Maritime Union of New Zealand is hosting a public meeting on the future of the Port of Timaru. The meeting will be held at “Robbies” (Hibernian Hotel), Latter Street, Timaru on Thursday 17 September starting at 7.30pm sharp.

All concerned local people are invited to the meeting, including port workers, unions, business, industry, farmers, and all those concerned with the future of the port.

For more information see the Port of Timaru campaign website.

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Where does Minister of Transport Steven Joyce stand in regional ports furore?

The Maritime Union is asking where the Government and the Minister of Transport stands on the future of regional ports after Fonterra announced it was withdrawing from some regional ports in favour of transporting goods by long distance rail last month.

Jobs are under threat, casualization is hitting workers hard, and the viability of regional ports is under a cloud after the decision, which has created intense debate in the regions and the transport industry.

Maritime Union General Secretary Trevor Hanson says the union’s national executive met with a Fonterra representative earlier this week.

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Regional ports at mercy of Fonterra and shipping companies

The Maritime Union says Fonterra’s decision to stop shipping containerized exports through Port Taranaki and Port Timaru was an example of how entire regional economies within New Zealand were being disrupted.

The recent announcement by Fonterra means the loss of 25,000 boxes of cargo to Port Taranaki in New Plymouth, and the loss of 24,000 boxes to Port Timaru annually.

Maritime Union General Secretary Trevor Hanson says the “overnight decisions” by Fonterra and major shipping companies are harming regional communities and regional ports through a process of “destructive competition” where ports experienced major and unpredictable changes in shipments.

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Free trade dairy debacle with USA was inevitable

Reproduced with thanks to Mike Moreu

The Maritime Union of New Zealand says the collapse of free trade in dairy products going into the United States was predictable and inevitable.

Maritime Union General Secretary Trevor Hanson says New Zealand has been naive in allowing free trade ideology to replace common sense and had been “led by the nose” by a self-interested sector of business in New Zealand who put their own interests first.

He says that nations such as the United States would support free trade as long as it served their interests, then would abandon it when it no longer suited them, which is what had now happened.

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