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Port rubbishes Kelly's 'bullying' claims

Two days of mediation between the Ports of Auckland and the Maritime Union began with PoAL brushing off a union bullying claim as "simply chasing attention".

Since union members returned to work last Thursday, PoAL has placed security guards and cameras in smoko-rooms and in cranes and straddles.

Council of Trade Unions president Helen Kelly claims the port company is “bullying” its union staff.

But PoAL ceo Tony Gibson says provisions were discussed with the union regarding the return to work and Ms Kelly was "simply chasing attention".

“Ms Kelly seems to be attempting to deflect attention away from the real issues that should be the union’s focus in mediation today toward a resolution of this lengthy dispute.

“Health and safety and security issues were discussed with MUNZ representatives before their return to work last week. It is the port’s responsibility to ensure the health and safety of all staff,” Mr Gibson says.

The parties will discuss a PoAL offer which includes a 10% wage increase and guarantees 160 hours of work for full-time employees in a four-week period.  

Performance bonuses of up to 10% are also included.

But the offer also retains the port company's right to contract out its workforce, one of the central points which have so far prevented a negotiated resolution.

Union president Garry Parsloe says a collective agreement signed today would mean jobs would be contracted out tomorrow.

The union would not sign a collective which retained the port’s right to contract out, he says.  

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Comments and questions

The right to contract out is in the existing collective agreement, and so presumably got there with the union's agreement. If the union says it will not sign any new collective agreement which retains that provision that should be the end of the matter. Sack the lot of them and get on with running an efficient port like Tauranga, with contract labour.

It is unreasonable for the union to ask the port to give up the right of contracting out.

That clause has been in there for years - my bank can take my house back at any stage so what do I do to so they cant take it.
I work hard, pay my mortgage and have a good working relationship with my bank.
Pretty simple stuff