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National maritime campaign kicks off in Gisborne

Tuesday 4 May 2004

National maritime campaign kicks off in Gisborne

The Maritime Union is holding the first meeting of its national Maritime Industry campaign 2004 in Gisborne.

The meeting which is open to all interested members of the public is at 6pm, Thursday 6 May, at the Red Cross Building, 323 Palmerston Street, Gisborne.

Speaking at the meeting will be Maritime Union General Secretary Trevor Hanson and National Vice President Joe Fleetwood.

Mr Hanson says the New Zealand economy depends on a vibrant maritime industry.

"But right now our coastal shipping is under threat of collapse, and the maritime workforce is being wrecked by casualization and insecure jobs."

Mr Hanson says small ports like Gisborne would benefit greatly from a revitalized New Zealand coastal shipping service.

"The basic goal of our campaign is to ensure that New Zealand has a permanent, skilled and secure maritime workforce, through sensible regulation of the waterfront and a cabotage system that gives priority to New Zealand ships in the coastal trade."

Mr Hanson says many vulnerable New Zealand workers are suffering from the effects of casualization and contracting out, but the maritime industry was being hit particularly hard.

"New Zealand¹s biosecurity, our reputation with trading partners, and the safety and security of our ports are all under threat from the failed free market policies that are making our ports work against each other rather than with each other."

He says the campaign is part of the Maritime Union¹s proactive approach which will draw on grassroots activism from union members and supporters to bring attention to what was a national issue.

ENDS

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