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Lyttelton Port Workers Vote to Extend Planned Strike Action

30 April 2014

Lyttelton Port Workers Vote to Extend Planned Strike Action

Lyttelton Port staff who work as Logistics Officers voted unanimously yesterday to extend strike action, due to commence on Friday, into a series of multiple rolling stoppages over coming weeks says the Rail and Maritime Transport Union

‘From Friday they will commence industrial action that will result in delays and backlogs building up at the port, by taking all their breaks and not working between 2300 and 0700. That action will be continuous, ’ said RMTU South Island Organiser John Kerr.

‘In addition to that, yesterday the membership voted for multiple total withdrawals of labour in a series of rolling stoppages to take place over coming weeks. We have to give notice to Lyttelton Port Company (LPC) of when these will occur and that’s the next step unless we can reach a resolution,’ he said.

‘LPC have said that they think from Friday it will be “business as usual”, and that the planned strikes will have no impact on port operations. We can assure them it will not be “business as usual”,’ he said.

‘Our members are claiming a 4% increase over 12 months, management have offered 2.85%. Given that a 1% increase only costs a total of about $10,000 for all these workers combined and given that LPC made nearly $17m profit after tax in the last financial year they can clearly afford to meet the workers’ claims’ he said.

‘Our members’ cost of living is increasing, with inflation in Canterbury running at 2.4%, and they know the Port is doing very well and can better reward its workers.’

‘The company is breaking all records in terms of the volume of containers it shifts, and the Board has set the precedent of generous pay deals by awarding its CEO, Peter Davie, $2.07m over the past two financial years. Our members see all that and ask why they shouldn’t share in the success?’ he said.

‘All we want to do is get our foot back on the accelerator and contributing to a successful port, and for the company to share some of the wealth of this effort with its workers,‘ he said.

‘We simply want LPC to think commercially and pragmatically so we can all get on with doing the good work that helps drive the re-build and the Canterbury economy. We’re happy to sit down and thrash out a deal,’ he said.

www.rmtunion.org.nz

ENDS

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