Ports suspends plan to contract out jobs
Ports of Auckland (PoAL) has suspended efforts to hire contract labour to replace 292 sacked wharfies, and agreed to re-enter collective bargaining with the Maritime Union.
The move followed a judicial settlement conference at the Employment Court in Auckland yesterday, during which both sides agreed to a period of mediation lasting up to a month.
While the ports company has made concessions there is so far no indication when, or if, striking workers will return to work.
Union pickets remain in place this morning and the possibility of more strikes has not been ruled out.
Because of a reduced level of work, any return to work by strikers depends on the progress of mediation.
PoAL has agreed to take no further steps to make the 292 sacked strikers redundant, and to halt attempts to source contract workers through Allied Workforce, Drake Personnel or any other party.
Return to work no done deal
Union president Garry Parsloe told NBR Online details of the settlement conference were confidential but he could say that union members were meeting at noon today to discuss whether or not they would return to work.
Mr Parsloe could not rule out the possibility of further strikes and says all the issues will be discussed at today's meeting.
"Encouraged" by judge
PoAL’s chairman Richard Pearson told NBR Online Judge Barry Travis had encouraged both parties to resume collective bargaining mediation and for PoAL to halt its contracting out for four weeks.