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Employers chief urges restraint in stevedores row

Media release 17 November 2000

Employers chief urges restraint in stevedores row

Employers' Federation chief executive Anne Knowles today called for a calm approach in an industrial dispute involving rival unions at Bluff and Port Chalmers.

The CTU is objecting to workers from a North Island stevedoring company being allowed to load logs at the South Island ports, saying it will lead to casualisation of the workforce, and the "death knell of small communities" in the South Island.

The CTU is supporting the Waterfront Workers' Union in its stand against the Amalgamated Stevedores Union, whose members have been hired to load logs on behalf of Carter Holt Harvey. Ms Knowles says the issue has the potential to escalate if the parties conduct themselves in an inflammatory manner.

"Raising the bogey of casualisation is not appropriate given that the industry has always relied heavily on part-time workers," Ms Knowles said.

"It is not competition, but monopoly practices that would cause most harm to small communities.

"Port services are not monopolies, and stevedoring companies are free to compete with others in any port," Ms Knowles said. "I hope those union representatives who have recently given assurances regarding a responsible attitude under the Employment Relations Act will desist from their intentions to picket the ship concerned, and reassure us all that a mature approach can prevail."

Ends

Contact Anne Knowles 021 425 868 Kathryn Asare 021 555744

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