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Union actions in breach of Act - Knowles

Media release 8 December 2000

Union actions in breach of Act - Knowles

Actions by the Waterfront Workers' Union in southern ports appear to be in breach of the Employment Relations Act, says Employers' Federation chief executive Anne Knowles.

Picket action by the Waterfront Workers' Union in Bluff, Port Chalmers and Timaru, to try and prevent members of another union from loading logs, effectively amounts to undue influence, which is banned under the Employment Relations Act, Ms Knowles said.

“The Employment Relations Act imposes penalties for using undue influence to induce anyone to be part of any particular union, in order to prevent demarcation disputes between unions. Proof that the issue is a demarcation dispute can be found in the fact that the International Transport Workers' Federation is supporting the Waterfront Workers' Union in calling the Amalgamated Stevedores Union a 'scab union'.

“In fact the Amalgamated Stevedores Union is a registered union, recognised under the Employment Relations Act," Ms Knowles said.

“The Waterfront Workers' Union is accusing the Amalgamated Stevedores Union of casualising the workforce in southern ports. Yet the Waterfront Workers' Union accepts casual labour in other situations. It appears that 'casualisation' is just a smokescreen for the Waterfront Workers' Union attempt to gain a monopoly position at New Zealand ports."

Ends Contact Anne Knowles 04 499 4111, 021 425868
Kathryn Asare 04 4994111, 021 555744


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