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Waterfront Union Welcomes Timaru Port U-Turn

Waterfront Union Welcomes Timaru Port U-Turn

The announcement that the sixteen jobs under threat at Prime Port Timaru will not be lost after all is good news, says the Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU).

‘Prime Port AGM CEO Jeremy Boyes has told members that the Board has “reconsidered” its position and will be scrapping its plans to restructure the port’s operations after all. He’s saying that since his resignation was announced last week they’ve had a fresh look at the situation and have conceded that the change was unnecessary.’ said RMTU South Island Organiser John Kerr.

‘Under the proposed scheme, announced a couple of weeks ago, the port was going to liquidate most jobs and contract out the work to a couple of companies wholly owned by Port of Tauranga, which has recently acquired a half share of Prime Port. Prime Port would have become little more than a landlord, clipping the ticket for every container, tonne of break bulk cargo and logs that crossed the wharf, and our members faced being re-hired on lower wages and inferior terms and conditions’ he said.

‘The membership stood together, and no-one applied for the new jobs. As well as that we commenced legal proceedings as we had real concerns about the amount of information that was being disclosed by the parties involved in the restructure. ’ he said.

‘Then there was a surprise announcement late last week that the port CEO had resigned, and an even bigger surprise in the last twenty four hours when we were told that the employer had scrapped its plans to restructure the port,’ he said.

‘We’re really pleased that pragmatism has prevailed. These workers have been made redundant twice in the last four years and this latest round was a bridge too far for them.’ He said.

‘Our members do a vital job around the clock in all weathers, the risks are well known, and they deserve security of employment and conditions,’ he said.


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