Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search


UPDATED: Lyttelton Port rejects logistics officer pay claim

UPDATED: Lyttelton Port rejects logistics officers’ pay demand, will use managers during overnight strike

By Suze Metherell

April 28 (BusinessDesk) – Peter Davie, chief executive of Lyttelton Port Co, says the South Island’s biggest port operator has rejected a demand for a 4 percent pay rise from logistics officers and will use managers to cover their work during a strike this week.

The company’s 11 logistics officers, who are responsible for planning the movement of freight and cargo across the wharves, will strike from 11 pm on Friday until 7 am Saturday morning after talks broke down over the pay demand, the Rail and Maritime Transport Union said. The company had offered a 2.85 percent increase over 12 months.

“The work that those people do will be covered by management staff so there won’t be any disruption to our shipping services as a result of it,” Davie told BusinessDesk. “It’s not our major workforce, they’re a group that does a specialist job for us.”

“The 4 percent they’re asking for is well above the rate of inflation and what other people are getting, so we don’t think it’s warranted given that they’re not prepared to have any discussions in the negotiations around productivity.”

While the union said it is “happy” to discuss productivity, Davie says by the labour body won’t discuss it until agreement has been reached on the pay rise.

The port’s shares fell 0.6 percent to $3.17 on the NZX and have gained 39 percent in the past year. The stock is tightly held with Christchurch City Holdings, the investment arm of the council, owning about 80 percent of the company, while Port Otago holds 15 percent.

RMTU said port management didn’t want to set a precedent for negotiations for a wider collective agreement which covers over 400 port workers. Negotiations have been ongoing since before Christmas with the union arguing the increase would only cost the company $10,000 and it has set a precedent by giving Davie himself a pay rise.

Davie’s remuneration rose 2.5 percent last financial year to $1.05 million, according to the port’s annual report. He says his own pay is “irrelevant” to the industrial dispute.

“If they want to ask what workers around the country have gained, the average wage increase is not 4 percent, it’s a lot lower than that, I can guarantee them that,” Davie said. “I think the union needs to start being realistic in their demands.”

“There hasn’t been any negotiation, it’s just been a demand – we want this or else. We don’t think that’s a negotiation quite frankly,” he said.

In February the port resumed dividend payments for the first time since they were suspended in 2010 following damage sustained in the Canterbury earthquakes. The company had a $438.3 million settlement with Vero, NZI and QBE, of which it recognised $357.6 million in insurance income in the six months ended Dec. 31, 2013.


© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


Internet: NZ Govt Lifts Target Speeds For Rural Broadband

The government has lifted its expectations on faster broadband speeds for rural New Zealand as it targets increased spending on research and development in the country's information and communications technology sector, which it sees as a key driver for export growth. More>>


Banks: Westpac Keeps Core Government Transactions Contract

The local arm of Westpac Banking Corp has kept its contract with the New Zealand government to provide core transactions, but will have to share peripheral services with its rivals. More>>


Science Investment Plan: Universities Welcome Statement

Universities New Zealand has welcomed the National Statement of Science Investment released by the Government today... this is a critical document as it sets out the Government’s ten-year strategic direction that will guide future investment in New Zealand’s science system. More>>


Scouring: Cavalier Merger Would Extract 'Monopoly Rents' - Godfrey Hirst

A merger of Cavalier Wool Holdings and New Zealand Wool Services International's two wool scouring operations would create a monopoly, says carpet maker Godfrey Hirst. The Commerce Commission on Friday released its second draft determination on the merger, maintaining its view that the public benefits would outweigh the loss of competition. More>>


Scoop Review Of Books: She Means Business

As Foreman says in her conclusion, this is a business book. It opens with a brief biographical section followed by a collection of interesting tips for entrepreneurs... More>>


Hourly Wage Gap Grows: Gender Pay Gap Still Fixed At Fourteen Percent

“The totally unchanged pay gap is a slap in the face for women, families and the economy,” says Coalition spokesperson, Angela McLeod. Even worse, Māori and Pacific women face an outrageous pay gap of 28% and 33% when compared with the pay packets of Pākehā men. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news