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

AMA: Scoop's 'Invisible Paywall'

Operation Chrysalis: The Final Countdown - Thanks & There's Still Time To Pledge

Phew! We are now counting down the hours to the end of this crowd-funding campaign at 11pm on Sunday. Thankyou to all those Scoop readers and supporters who have pledged already. You have been awesome. But this is not over yet. More>>

 
 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

IPCA Reports: Significant Problems In Police Custody

In releasing two reports today, the Independent Police Conduct Authority has highlighted a number of significant problems with the way in which Police deal with people who are detained in Police cells. More>>

ALSO:

Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security: Inquiry Into GCSB Pacific Allegations

The complaints follow recent public allegations about GCSB activities. The complaints, and these public allegations, raise wider questions regarding the collection, retention and sharing of communications data. More>>

ALSO:

TPPA Investment Leak: "NZ Surrender To US" On Corporates Suing Governments

Professor Jane Kelsey: ‘As anticipated, the deal gives foreign investors from the TPPA countries special rights, and the power to sue the government in private offshore tribunals for massive damages if new laws, or even court decisions, significantly affected their bottom line’. More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf: The Myth Of Steven Joyce

Gordon Campbell: The myth of competence that’s been woven around Steven Joyce – the Key government’s “Minister of Everything” and “Mr Fixit” – has been disseminated from high-rises to hamlets, across the country... More>>

ALSO:

RMTU: No Public Submissions On International Government Procurement Deal

“The government is preparing to assent to the Government Procurement Agreement, a World Trade Organisation Treaty which opens up New Zealand Government contracts to foreign companies and closes the door on local businesses and their workers. However the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee is refusing to take public submissions on the decision.” More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell:
On Pacific Spying

So New Zealand spied on its friends and allies in the Pacific – and has not only been passing on the results to the NSA, but has apparently passed on the details of the Pacific’s relations with Taiwan to our other best friends, the Chinese. On the side, the Key government has also been using the security services to gauge the chances of Trade Minister Tim Groser landing the top job at the WTO... More>>

ALSO:

State Housing Transfer: Salvation Army Opts Out

The Salvation Army has decided against negotiating with Government for the transfer of Housing New Zealand stock.
More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news