Auckland waterfront picket scenes of laughter
Auckland waterfront picket scenes of laughter and socializing as community support surges
Maritime Union of New Zealand media release FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Sunday 4 March 2012
Hundreds of Aucklanders gathered outside the Ports of Auckland today to support the cause of Ports of Auckland workers to defend secure jobs and family life.
The workers are now in the second week of strike action at the port.
The family-oriented day at Teal Park featured music and entertainment, as well as speakers from around New Zealand and overseas.
Maritime Union National President Garry Parsloe says the day provided an insight into what the dispute at the port was all about.
"It was great to see workers and their families down here today, enjoying some respite from the terrible pressure they have been put through by an employer who has no regard for workers security and wellbeing."
He says the workers were thrilled to hear from the Vice President (Mainland) of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU), Ray Familathe, who had travelled from California to meet with Ports of Auckland workers and speak at todays event.
The ILWU is one of the most high profile unions in North America, representing 60 000 waterfront and other workers on the west coast of the United States, Canada, Alaska, Hawaii and Panama.
A delegation of maritime workers from Bluff were also present, including Bluff based MUNZ assistant general secretary Ray Fife who spoke.
Council of Trade Unions national vice president Richard Wagstaff of the PSA spoke, together with officials and members of many New Zealand unions.
Mr Parsloe says there has been great community support for workers in the last few days.
"We've had all sorts of people coming along to support. There was an unemployed gentleman who donated some cans of soup. Someone else turned up with a $500 cheque to support the cause. It's provided a great boost for our members and their morale and spirit is high."