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Maritime Union campaign comes to Bluff

Wednesday 2 June 2004

Maritime Union campaign comes to Bluff

The Maritime Union is holding a public meeting in Bluff as part of its national campaign for secure jobs.

The public meeting is on Friday 4 June at 2.30pm, at the Bluff Fire Station, corner of Liffey and Barrow Street, Bluff.

National Vice President Joe Fleetwood (Wellington) is speaking at the meeting, along with Maritime Union communications officer Victor Billot (Port Chalmers/Dunedin.)

Maritime Union General Secretary Trevor Hanson says the New Zealand economy depends on a vibrant maritime industry, but the industry was currently being torn apart by casualization and insecure jobs.

He says many industrial problems in New Zealand ports are caused by permanent jobs being undermined by casual jobs, a trend the Maritime Union wanted to reverse.

Mr Hanson says local jobs at Bluff have been put at risk through "suitcase stevedores" coming in from out of town and using casual workers, which disrupted local employment.

"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 shipping system that gives priority to New Zealand ships in the coastal trade."

Mr Hanson says the lack of regulation in the industry is affecting New Zealand¹s biosecurity, reputation with trading partners, and the safety of ports.

The Maritime Industry campaign has so far visited North Island ports and is on the road in the South Island this week visiting port communities for meetings.

ENDS

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