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Lyttelton Port Sell Off Will Trigger a Fight

Media Release Rail & Maritime Transport Union 16th May 2014

Lyttelton Port Sell Off Will Trigger a Fight, Says Port Union

The Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU) will fight any sell down of Christchurch City Council’s ownership of Lyttelton Port Company (LPC).

Council Finance Chairperson Raf Manji has said the Council is considering asset sales to plug an alleged half a billion dollar hole in its finances, including a partial or full sale of its shareholding in LPC.

‘It’s about time we killed off the zombie economics of neo-liberalism once and for all, and that includes the idea of selling publically owned assets like the port that generate income for all the people of Christchurch. ‘ said RMTU South Island Organiser John Kerr.

‘Privatisation of the port in response to a crisis that may not even exist is madness,’ he said.

‘Even the Government questions the size of the hole in the Council’s budget, and yet it appears the vultures are already circling and demanding we sell off the very assets that have kept rates down in Christchurch in comparison to other New Zealand cities,’ he said.

‘Our union starts negotiations next month for the renewal of the collective agreement that covers the bulk of port workers, and you can be assured that we will be seeking a mandate on this issue from the membership,’ he said.

‘If anyone thinks they can sell off what belongs to the people of Christchurch without a fight then they are in for a rude awakening,’ he said.

‘We’re confident that we can mobilise the membership and the wider community in a campaign against this crackpot idea,’ he said.

‘It makes no sense to flog off a profitable strategic asset at a time like this, one questions the motivation of anyone who would consider doing such a thing. Public office is about stewardship, future generations will not thank us for short term thinking,’ he said.

ENDS

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