Port workers protest against Lyttelton Port lock out
8 March 2018
Port workers protest at Christchurch City Council against Lyttelton Port lock out
RMTU members will protest outside Council offices at midday today over Lyttelton Port Company’s threat of a potentially illegal lockout.
“Port workers withdrew their notices of strike action which would have come into effect today,” says John Kerr, organiser for the Rail and Maritime Transport Union.
“We heard the people of Canterbury who told us how important it was to keep the port running. We met with LPC. We thought we'd made progress.
“But now LPC is refusing to pay around 70 cargo handlers and other workers who are ready and able to work.
“In our view this amounts to an illegal lockout. We gave LPC two weeks’ notice of our industrial action, as required by law. They have given us none.”
“What’s so disappointing is that the talks yesterday brought us within a whisker of a reaching a settlement. We were confident that with a bit more effort we could reach a deal,” says John Kerr.
“Refusing to pay workers who have called off strike action makes no sense, it simply inflames the situation.”
“LPC is wholly owned by Christchurch City Council so we’re appealing to our mayor and councillors to step in and encourage management to change their minds,” he said.
“LPC Chief Executive Peter Davie, who gets paid more than $18000 per week, is overseas and the people left in charge appear more motivated to punish workers than resolve this dispute,” he said.