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Old Style Wharfies Up To Old Style Practices

Media Release January 15th, 2001


"The Waterfront Workers Union is acting like a resurrected dinosaur with it's industrial action at South Island Ports, says Alasdair Thompson, Chief Executive, Employers & Manufacturers Association (Northern).

"They are like old style Wharfies up to their old style feather-bedding practices," Mr Thompson said.

"It is a case of an old union being made less relevant by a newly unionised workforce with more efficient practices. The amalgamated Stevedores union members can do the job quicker, more efficiently and at less cost. The Waterfront Union doesn't like that. Their action is anti competitive and if successful, will drive up costs. Hardly the way to constructively lift our living standards," Mr Thompson said.

"The Waterfront Workers Union even tries to hide its true purpose by dishonestly claiming they are trying to prevent 'casualisation' of port work. That is nonsense. Ports have long used casual labour. After all that is the nature of much of their work.

"If the Waterfront Workers Union were to be successful against all that is rational, the losers will be New Zealand exporters and New Zealanders."

For further comment: Contact Alasdair Thompson CEO, Employers & Manufacturers Association (09) 3670911 (bus) or 025 982024 After hours (09) 3033951

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