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Waterfront Union Warming Up Their Muscles

An ugly waterfront dispute which is brewing in Bluff is just a taste of things to come under the Employment Relations Act, National's Labour spokesperson Max Bradford said today.

"The New Zealand Waterfront Workers Union (NZWWU) has threatened to call on all of its union members throughout New Zealand to picket the vessel 'The Eastern Forest' which is at the centre of the dispute in Bluff and at Port Chalmers.

"This will disrupt not only Mainland Stevedoring's legal right to fulfil their contract, but also ports throughout New Zealand whose workers will be summonsed to the picketline. The NZWWU is also threatening to blacklist the vessel both in New Zealand and worldwide.

"These threats have been made simply because Mainland Stevedoring's workers don't belong to the 'right' union. This is not bargaining - it's blackmail.

"These are the sort of tactics we saw in the '70s and '80s when mayhem on the waterfront was commonplace.

"The Waterfront Workers Union is trying to get its monopoly back in our ports by using intimidation tactics. This sort of disruption is not what New Zealanders voted for at the last election. The Labour Minister needs to clearly state this wasn't part of the ERA. She should sort this out - if she isn't beholden to the union," Mr Bradford said.


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