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Need for fundamental reform despite change of approach


30 March 2012

Media Release

Change of approach on Port dispute doesn’t change need for fundamental reform

Today’s change of approach by the parties to return to the bargaining table, and use the facilitation process set out in the Employment Relations Act, doesn't alter the need for a certain and sustainable solution to the dispute, said Auckland Chamber head Michael Barnett.

• It doesn't change the need for the Port to get its performance levels up to those of Tauranga;

• Doesn't change the fact that work practices and restrictions that are out of touch with today's reality need to be reformed.

• Doesn't change the fact that over the last 10 years POAL has lost significant market share.

The Port says this equates to around $73 million in revenue. If that trend continued over the next 10 years it would equate to a further loss in the order of $260 million.

Paying on average 40 hours for 26 hours worked costs POAL over $8 million per annum. “This cannot continue,” said Mr Barnett.

Work practices at the Container Port must be customer focused, flexible and modern.

“There is no dispute from business that new thinking is needed and needs to translate into new, flexible work practices that are customer-focused and give Auckland a competitive edge.”

“I note that the 16 May booking with Employment Court remains and is a back stop if parties can't settle - Let's work to ensure it is not needed”, concluded Mr Barnett


ends



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