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Auckland port engineers return to work tomorrow

BUSINESSDESK: Ports of Auckland engineers will tomorrow be the first return to work after management lifted its lockout notice last week.

A group of engineers will be the initial Maritime Union New Zealand workers to return after a prolonged industrial dispute with stevedores.

Port management wants to introduce more casual labour by hiring external contractors.

“The Auckland port is vital to the New Zealand economy and our members want to be on the job contributing their skills and energy, not standing outside the gates while the port stands idle at a huge cost to every one of us,” union president Garry Parsloe said.

Union workers had been due to return to work late last month after the port’s legal strategy collapsed in the Employment Court.

But the port issued a lockout notice immediately afterwards, reasserting its intention to seek external stevedoring services.

Last week, port director Rob Campbell stepped down from the board after a falling out over strategy at the Auckland Council-owned business.