Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Port Redundancies Symptom of ‘Chaos’ on NZ Waterfront

Port Redundancies Symptom of ‘Chaos’ on New Zealand Waterfront, Says Port Union


Today’s announcement that sixteen jobs will be on the chopping block as Prime Port Timaru restructures its operations for the third time in four years is another example of the failure of the free market in New Zealand’s port sector, says the Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU).

‘At last year’s Prime Port AGM CEO Jeremy Boyes was talking up the acquisition of half of Prime Port by Port of Tauranga as well as boasting he had the “most flexible” workforce on the New Zealand waterfront. Now he’s proposing to make those workers redundant and “offer them an interview” with other stevedores, presumably in order to make them even more “flexible”,’ said RMTU General Secretary Wayne Butson.

‘Under this scheme Prime Port will become little more than a landlord, clipping the ticket for every container, tonne of break bulk cargo and log that crosses the wharf, and our members face uncertainty and unknown job security’ he said.

‘Having two new entities owned by Port of Tauranga taking over this South Canterbury workforce can only be aimed at driving down wages and make workers more fearful of their future job security this toxic cocktail of fear culture will do nothing for health and safety in this port,’ he said.

‘In recent years it’s become increasingly likely that any manufactured product bought in New Zealand has crossed a wharf to get to the shops; and export commodities like dairy products and logs are all handled by port workers. This is a round the clock job in all weathers and the risks are well known, yet instead of rewarding these workers with security of employment and conditions, Prime Port seems bent on racing to the bottom of the market’ he said.

‘In our experience, changing employers on a competitive model is all about cutting wages, reducing job security and lining the pockets of people in boardrooms,’ he said.

‘Last time jobs were slashed at Timaru port it was because foreign owned shipping companies pulled out of the container trade, this time we’re doing it to ourselves. The ports sector in New Zealand is becoming like the wild west, deregulation has created a free for all where ordinary Kiwi workers trying to provide for their families face a constant battle to hang on to their wages and conditions and to try and ensure decent standards of health and safety’ whilst their bosses are only interested in earning bigger bonuses, he said.

‘The industry is in chaos, locally owned ports competing with one another in a country our size doesn’t make sense, and the situation in Timaru is just another symptom of that wider problem. It requires a comprehensive rethink at central government level to come up with a National Ports strategy that will meet the needs of Kiwi workers, tax and ratepayers, and the business community ’ he said.

‘That will require political courage and it won’t happen without a change of government this year,’ he said.

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell:
On The Last Rites For The TPP

The Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal is one of those litmus issues that has always had more to do with one’s place on the political spectrum than with any imminent reality.

To date, the Greens have opposed (a) a wide range of the leaked content of the TPP (b) the secretive way it has been negotiated and (c) the undemocratic way in which any final document would be ratified. Labour has shared some of those concerns, but while remaining generally supportive of the deal itself.

National has, for its part, been very enthusiastic about the TPP, while still giving assurances about Pharmac being protected... For the TPP’s friends and foes alike though, the end now seems nigh. More>>

 
 

Gordon Campbell: On The Farcical Elevation Of David Seymour

With the election won, it’s time to find jobs for the boy. David Seymour is the Act Party’s latest scrounger to be rewarded by the National Party, and not only with a seat in Parliament. More>>

ALSO:

As Key Mulls Joining ISIS Fighting: McCully Speech To UN Backs Security Council Bid

It is an honour to address you today on behalf of the Prime Minister and Government of New Zealand. Our General Election took place last week - our Prime Minister Rt Hon John Key is engaged in forming a government and that is why he is unable to be here in New York... More>>

ALSO:

Labour: Cunliffe Triggers Party Wide Leadership Contest

David Cunliffe has resigned as Labour Leader, but says he will seek re-election... If there is any contest the election will have to go through a process involving the party membership and union affiliates. More>>

ALSO:

Flyover Appeal: Progress And Certainty, Or Confusion And More Delays?

Lindsay Shelton: The Transport Agency, embarrassed by the rejection of its flyover alongside the Basin Reserve, says it’s appealing because the decision could “constrain progress.” Yet for most clear-sighted Wellingtonians a 300-metre-long concrete structure above Kent and Cambridge Terraces would in no way be seen as progress… More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Cunliffe’s Last Stand

Right now, embattled Labour leader David Cunliffe has three options. None of them are particularly attractive for him personally, or for the Labour Party... More>>

ALSO:

Key Seeking 'New Ideas': Look To Children’s Commissioner On Poverty - Greens

John Key should not reinvent the wheel when it comes to ideas for tackling child poverty, and instead look to the recommendations of the Children’s Commissioner’s Expert Group on Child Poverty, Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei says. More>>

ALSO:

'Safe To Re-Enter' - OIA Docs: Safety Is Absolute Priority At Pike River Mine

“We understand that the time it is taking to complete our evaluation of the risks is frustrating for the family members and we are trying to complete this work as quickly as we can,” Ms Dunphy says. “It is Solid Energy’s responsibility to make this decision and we will do so, once we have all the information required to make a fully-informed decision.” More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
More RSS  RSS
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news