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 Inquiry Into One Case Of Dirty Politics

Suddenly, we’re awash in inquiries and reviews. (It feels almost as if the Greens won the last election.) Caught out by the damning inquiry by SIS Inspector-General Cheryl Gwyn, the government’s response yesterday was utterly in character – it released two other major reports at the same time to try and distract public attention...

Inquiries are supposed to re-assure the public. What these inquiry outcomes share in common is a government culture of zero responsibility. More>>

IGIS: Statement On Early Report Release

As the Inspector-General stated at the release of the report yesterday morning, she is examining what steps to take over the early disclosure of information from the report... Ms Gwyn said that she was aware of Mr Goff's subsequent statements that he had disclosed some information concerning findings in the report. She will be seeking further information from Mr Goff and others. More>>

ALSO:

IGIS ON SIS:

 
 

Parliament Today:

Temporary Release Crackdown Continues: Corrections Review Of Phillip Smith Case

“The review by Corrections’ Chief Custodial Officer reveals that the plan for Smith’s series of temporary releases was overly ambitious and misinformed. He’s a highly manipulative and deceptive person who although technically eligible, should not have been considered for temporary release." More>>

ALSO:

White Ribbon Day: Govt Resumes Sexual Violence Trial Proceedings Work

Justice Minister Amy Adams has asked the Law Commission to resume work on proposals for better supporting victims of sexual violence through the criminal process. The Law Commission will revisit its previous work on alternative pre-trial and trial processes to identify options for improving complainants’ experience in court. More>>

ALSO:

"New Faces, Wise Heads": Andrew Little Announces New Labour Line Up

Labour Leader Andrew Little today announced a bold new caucus line up which brings forward new talent and draws on the party’s depth of experience. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Rick Ellis As Te Papa’s New CEO

The recent appointment of former TVNZ boss Rick Ellis to head Te Papa has copped a fair bit of criticism. Much of it has been inspired by the suspicion that Ellis has been hired to pursue the same purely commercial goals as he did at TVNZ, while similarly neglecting the serious cultural side of his mandate. More>>

Passport Cancellation, Surveillance: Draft 'Foreign Fighters Legislation' Released

The final draft of the Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill contains proposals previously announced by Mr Key in a major national security speech earlier this month. More>>

ALSO:

Related

Joint Statement: Establishment Of NZ-China Strategic Partnership

At the invitation of Governor-General Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae and Prime Minister The Rt Hon John Key of New Zealand, President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China made a state visit to New Zealand from 19 to 21 November 2014... More>>

ALSO:

Savings Targets: Health Procurement Plan Changes Direction

Next steps in implementing DHB shared services programme Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says the Government has agreed to explore a proposal put forward by DHBs to move implementation of the shared services programme to a DHB-owned vehicle. More>>

ALSO:

More on Health Policy:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news