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Mainland objects to union’s ‘outrageous’ claims


Media statement 1 December, 2000
For immediate release

Mainland objects to union’s ‘outrageous’ claims

The view of the New Zealand Waterfront Workers Union that exporters should perpetuate and support labour monopolies at southern ports is outrageous and completely out of step with good business practice, Greg Dickson, a Director of Mainland Stevedoring said today.

Mr Dickson was responding to comments from union official Trevor Hansen that the actions of exporters in employing Mainland to load logs, was jeopardising the futures of southern port communities.

“It’s outrageous that the union should indulge in emotional blackmail in an attempt to preserve its virtual monopoly on stevedoring work at southern ports,” he said. “The union has grossly misrepresented our position when we have tried to make it clear that we want to use stevedores who are part of a permanent, contracted labour force.

“Our workers are members of the union of their choice, the Amalgamated Stevedores Union. The Waterfront Workers have even stooped to attacking it by falsely branding it a “company union”.

“I’m confident most New Zealanders will recognise the flaws in their arguments. The country has thankfully moved on from an industrial relations regime that dictated to exporters who would do the work, how long they would take to do it and how much they would charge.

“The last vestiges of these outdated attitudes linger on in the approach of the Waterfront Workers union to healthy competition.

“Competition exists in some form or other in every facet of Bluff’s commercial life. I find it baffling that anybody could seriously entertain the idea, implicit in the comments today of Trevor Hansen, that the town’s economy will be brought to its knees if exporters have a choice of stevedoring company.

“We are prepared for further abuse and intimidation from picketers when we load a second ship this week. Our hope is that New Zealanders will see the union’s bullying tactics for what they are and remind them that we are no longer living in the 1950s.”

Ends

For further information contact:
Greg Dickson, Director, Mainland Stevedoring Limited
Phone 021 917 002

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