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Further strike action over casual jobs possible

Monday 13 September 2004

Further strike action over casual jobs at Ports of Auckland a possibility

The Maritime Union says a further 7-day stoppage by waterfront workers is a possibility, unless major changes are made at the Ports of Auckland to ensure permanent jobs are being created.

Maritime Union Local 13 Auckland Waterfront Branch President Denis Carlisle says a mass stopwork meeting this morning voted to give negotiators the option to take further strike action.

The Maritime Union will meet port company managers tomorrow to continue negotiations.

Mr Carlisle says management had made some movement in mediation on Friday but workers did not see it as being sufficient given the seriousness of the situation.

"The members are very determined at this stage, they feel strongly about the issue of casualization and want to hold the line for permanent, secure jobs."

A four day stoppage from Wednesday 8 September to Sunday 12 September saw 260 workers walk off the job and picket at the Ports of Auckland.

Mr Carlisle says the response from around New Zealand and the world was unprecedented.

"It is obvious that people are very concerned about casualization and it appears that we have struck a chord with many people by our stand."

Messages of support and solidarity had come from Japan, Korea, Australia, Europe, and North America, together with strong support from New Zealand workers.

Mr Carlisle says a group of Australian maritime unionists had been received by the picket at Ports of Auckland on Friday and had been impressed by the spirit, focus and awareness of the workers.

ENDS

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