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.

(BusinessDesk)

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Half Full: Dairy Payouts Steady, Cash Will Be Tight

Industry body DairyNZ is advising farmers to focus on strong cashflow management as they look ahead to the 2015-16 season following Fonterra's half-year results announcement today. More>>

ALSO:

First Union: Cotton On Plans To Use “Tea Break” Law

“The Prime Minister reassured New Zealanders that ‘post the passing of this law, will you all of a sudden find thousands of workers who are denied having a tea break? The answer is absolutely not’... Cotton On is proposing to remove tea and meal breaks for workers in its safety sensitive distribution centre. How long before other major chains try and follow suit?” More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: NZ-Korea FTA Signed Amid Spying, Lost Sovereignty Claims

A long-awaited free trade agreement between New Zealand and South Korea has been signed in Seoul by Prime Minister John Key and the Korean president, Park Geun-hye. More>>

ALSO:

PM Visit: NZ And Viet Nam Agree Ambitious Trade Target

New Zealand and Viet Nam have agreed an ambitious target of doubling two-way goods and service trade to around $2.2 billion by 2020, Prime Minister John Key has announced. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: NZ Economy Grows 0.8% In Fourth Quarter

The New Zealand economy expanded in the fourth quarter as tourists drove growth in retailing and accommodation, and property sales increased demand for real estate services. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: RBNZ’s Wheeler Keeps OCR On Hold, No Rate Hikes Ahead

The Reserve Bank has removed the prospect of future interest rate hikes from its forecast horizon as a strong kiwi dollar and cheap oil hold down inflation, and the central bank ponders whether to lower its assessment of where “neutral” interest rates should be. The kiwi dollar gained. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news