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ITF Ready To Defend MUNZ Worldwide

12 November 2012

ITF Ready To Defend MUNZ Worldwide

The ITF continues to maintain its close watch on the situation in the port of Auckland, where earlier this year the Maritime Union of New Zealand (MUNZ), backed by the ITF and its global member unions, successfully resisted management plans to steamroller through a massive ‘restructuring’ plan. MUNZ and the management company, POAL, then entered government organised negotiations.

Steve Cotton, ITF (International Transport Workers’ Federation) acting general secretary, said: “The people of Auckland, the workers of the port and concerned New Zealanders everywhere have trusted that a negotiated solution will be achieved. POAL cannot hope to return to their attempts to thrust through massive change without any mandate to do so and in front of all those witnesses and their friends worldwide. We are once again putting POAL on notice that the entire ITF union community worldwide is backing MUNZ, justice and fair work pratices in New Zealand’s ports.”

Commenting on the allegation that POAL management have breached the rules laid down in the negotiations by leaking information, Cotton added: “These negotiations are mandated by the Employment Relations Authority and governed by strict rules that prohibit any jockeying for advantage by one-sided leaking. If POAL are proven to have broken those rules and conducted this kind of trickery then it raises the question of how serious they are about finding a fair, profitable and constructive solution to the problems they themselves created with their ill-advised plans.”

He continued: “Dockers’ and seafarers’ trade unions around the world are closely watching what is going on in New Zealand’s ports and we demand nothing less than fair treatment for our colleagues there, who are scrupulously following the rules laid down in these negotiations.”
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MUNZ have released the following press releases:


Ports of Auckland workers remain united

Maritime Union of New Zealand media release FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Monday 12 November 2012

Maritime Union of New Zealand members at Ports of Auckland have backed their Union with a vote of confidence.

A full meeting of Maritime Union members at the Ports of Auckland was held this morning Monday 12 November 7–9am at Auckland's Maritime Club.

Maritime Union of New Zealand National President Garry Parsloe says members voted with overwhelming support to back the Union to achieve a settlement of the ongoing dispute.

The members have reluctantly accepted concessions the Union has made in the facilitation to try and get progress, he says.

"However, Ports of Auckland workers are shocked their employer continues to want to destroy basic terms and conditions that provide for some balance in this 24/7 industry and which threaten the health and safety of the workforce."

Mr Parsloe says union members will not agree to unfair rostering which would undermine family life, with no certainty of start times, the ability for casuals to be used for any duties thereby removing a career path for workers at the port, and the loss of the limited right of one guaranteed weekend off in every three.

He says workers will not sign a POAL contract that continues to contain a contracting out provision after what they have been through.

"Our members will fight these changes however they can."

Mr Parsloe says any decision to take industrial action would be very seriously considered as we are aware of the costs to our members and disruption to the city.

“We cannot however stand by and let POAL progress this attack on our members and their families.”

Ports of Auckland workers at the meeting called on the Mayor of Auckland to sack the CEO and the Board and restore a moderate management who respects its workforce, says Mr Parsloe.

"They do this in the name of their families, the city of Auckland and New Zealand workers. The mayor and council can fix this if they want to."



Ports of Auckland takes law into their own hands – again!

Maritime Union of New Zealand media release FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Friday 9 November 2012

The Maritime Union says that once again POAL management have shown their willingness to breach the law in their single-minded attempt to get their own way in undermining job security and balanced working arrangements at the Ports of Auckland.

Despite requirements around confidentiality of the Facilitation process the parties entered into earlier this year, and a clear directive from the Facilitator on a process to provide information to the public, POAL have released information about the content of the negotiations in breach of the Employment Relations Act.

Maritime Union of New Zealand National President Garry Parsloe says there are major reservations about the accuracy of the information being put out to the public in breach of the law.

"POAL’s action illustrates the difficulty the Maritime Union has had throughout the dispute over a new collective agreement – it is very hard to negotiate in good faith with an employer who will not meet their legal obligations."

"We saw it earlier this year with the attempt to dismiss our members via a contracting out process where we successfully obtained an injunction to stop them proceeding. We are seeing it again now."

Mr Parsloe says the Maritime Union will be issuing proceedings about this continued breach of good faith by this arrogant and heavy handed company.

"In the meantime we will be maintaining the integrity of the process of Facilitation and not commenting further while we work through the agreed process."

The Union will be communicating the facts to members on Monday morning, says Mr Parsloe.

He says the Maritime Union is pleased that the Facilitator has commented on POAL's actions and the Union will be complying with his directions.

ENDS

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