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Union attempts to mislead public

Media release 12 January 2001


Union attempts to mislead public

The Waterfront Workers' Union is trying to mislead the public over the reasons for its campaign of industrial action at South Island ports, says Employers' Federation chief executive Anne Knowles.

She says the union's claim that it's trying to prevent 'casualisation' of port work is dishonest, as all ports routinely use casual labour because of the nature of the business.

"The union is also claiming that the rival Amalgamated Stevedores Union, whose members have been employed to load the logs, is not a real union at all, but a sham "company" union," Ms Knowles said.

"In fact it is a legitimate union registered by the Department of Labour under the Employment Relations Act.

"The Waterfront Workers' Union is saying that local workers should have got the contract to load the logs rather than out-of-towners. But companies should be free to choose who they award contracts to, on cost-benefit grounds, without being bullied by organised labour.

"The public would be advised to ignore red herrings over casual labour and 'local jobs for local labour'. This dispute is all about an old, entrenched union trying to revive restrictive work practices at the expense of New Zealand exporters."


Contact: Anne Knowles ph 04 4994111 or 021 425868

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