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Unions unite in Ports of Auckland labour blunder

Unions unite in Ports of Auckland labour blunder

Maritime Union of New Zealand/Rail and Maritime Transport Union JOINT MEDIA STATEMENT for immediate release Wednesday 4 November 2009

The Ports of Auckland has been put on notice from Unions that it will have to train its own workforce rather than fly in staff from other ports.

The port company wants to transfer skilled labour from Wellington and Lyttelton to keep up with work after 12 weeks ago laying off a substantial number of workers.

Maritime Union of New Zealand National Vice President Garry Parsloe says the situation is a result of the port company ignoring Union advice.

"They were told there were too many redundancies, and it would create a shortage of skilled workers. Now this has happened."

He says that the Maritime Union would only agree for Unionised workers being transferred into Auckland if there was a written commitment from the Ports of Auckland to train a sufficient number of its own workforce.

Rail and Maritime Transport Union General Secretary Wayne Butson confirmed his Union had a united stance with MUNZ on the issue.

There were concerns that the Port Company was attempting to play off the unions against each other.

He says the issue is about port employers maintaining skilled staff at their port, an issue that both unions have the same position on.

"Any prudent port employer knows they must provide for volume variability of tonnage. Having an adequate supply of suitably qualified staff so that these situations don't arise is Management 101."

ENDS

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