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Fishery Officers Strike - First In 25 Years

Fishery Officers Strike - First In 25 Years

“Fishery Officers have voted to work to rule over lack of progress in their Collective Agreement negotiations on the issues of revaluing their remuneration and allowing them to carry defensive equipment,” said Martin Cooney, organiser with the National Union of Public Employees (NUPE) today. NUPE covers round half of the Fishery Officers who number about 120 throughout New Zealand.

“The Fishery Officers Collective Agreement expired in February 2003 and they have faced delays on both issues due to the Scampi Inquiry in 2003 and what they see as delaying tactics since. They have now had enough.”

“The Fisheries Officers who have not been on strike since 1979 have given notice to the Ministry of Fisheries that they will be refusing to comply with any requests to engage with any contact/inspection target in circumstances where that contact/inspection target has available to them items of equipment that may be used to threaten or injure the Fishery Officer.”

“Fisheries Officers face potentially volatile persons because of the increased fines and power to arrest given to them. These people have general access to weapons and Fisheries Officers have no real defence mechanisms available to them. The effect of this industrial action will be that Fisheries Officers are refusing to inspect any location, vessel, restaurant, takeaway, Licensed Fish Receiver or vehicle where they believe any knife, gaff, speargun, chain, oar or other similar item may be located,” said Martin Cooney. “Delegates decide on Monday when the action will commence.”

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