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Maritime workers strike for secure, permanent jobs

Maritime workers strike for secure, permanent jobs

The Port of Auckland will be shut down tomorrow as around 260 Maritime Union members start a four day strike from 7am Wednesday 8 September 2004.

Maritime Union Local 13 Auckland Waterfront Branch President Denis Carlisle says the strike is about a fair go for the average kiwi worker.

"The action we are taking is to help our members and all workers who are trapped in part-time and casual jobs, we are fighting for secure, permanent jobs."

Some workers employed by the Ports of Auckland were still casual after many years of employment.

Mr Carlisle says numerous opportunities for part-time and casual workers to be made secure, permanent employees had been ignored by the Ports of Auckland.

"Ports of Auckland have chosen to keep their part-time casual workers in the limbo of insecure employment, where they live on the end of a telephone, not knowing from day to day whether they will be required to work and if they are at very short notice."

He says the Maritime Union had received messages of support from around New Zealand and from maritime workers internationally for their stance.

The Maritime Union has strongly campaigned against casualization and says the current labour shortage in New Zealand is due to lack of training and the development of a permanent secure skilled workforce.

Mr Carlisle says the uncertainty of ongoing employment and low rates of pay undermine financial security, family life and personal health and well being, as well as on the job safety.

"The Maritime Union is taking a lead in standing up for the rights of all working people for secure permanent jobs and decent working conditions."

A continual picket for the strike duration will be held at Access Ferguson and Access Bledisloe at the Ports of Auckland by Maritime Union members starting from 7am Wednesday 8 September.

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