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Political Waterfront Mediation Should Cease

The flawed mediation of the South Island waterfront dispute should be dropped, National's Industrial Relations spokesperson Lockwood Smith said today.

"It is no surprise that Carter Holt Harvey has withdrawn from the mediation it should not have been forced to participate in.

"The mediator found that the union's claims were either incorrect or partially incorrect which means carrying on the process is futile. This should be the end of the mediation.

"Neither Carter Holt Harvey nor Mainland Stevedoring had any employment relationship with the Waterfront Workers Union. The union however believed that if it protested loudly enough, through its political links with the Labour party, it may be able to force itself back into greater control of the waterfront.

"The mediation process was political from the start after the Government appointed the mediator. The mediation has become controversial because the mediator's initial findings went against the union.

"The companies should now be left to get on with the business of loading log ships using new technology and employing the labour they chose," Dr Smith said.


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