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Mediation Between Unions and Port Otago to Continue

Mediation Between Unions and Port Otago to Continue: Overtime Ban to Go Ahead

Whilst progress was made in mediated bargaining today between Port Otago workers represented by the Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU) and the Maritime Union of New Zealand (MUNZ) and management a ban on overtime is still due to commence on Saturday 7th September.

‘Discussions today did not result in sufficient progress for the unions to withdraw notice of the overtime ban, accordingly a complete and indefinite ban on overtime will begin this Saturday, however further mediated talks have been set down for next Wednesday 11 Setpember’ said combined unions’ spokesperson John Kerr.

‘The main sticking points in the talks are fatigue management and pay. We want to tackle fatigue management cooperatively in the manner recommended by internationally renowned expert Philippa Gander in her 2017 report on roster management at the port,’ he said.

‘The overtime ban will have an immediate impact. Management are regularly dependent on workers to do 14 hour shifts in order to turn around ships. Worker availability for overtime will stop on Saturday. As the port gets busier in the build up towards Christmas, this impact will be compounded. We regret any inconvenience to port users or customers but we can no longer tolerate the real and meaningful health and safety risk to workers that fatigue represents’ he said.

‘The unions remain hopeful that next weeks discussions will break the impasse,’ he said.

ENDS

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