Ports of Auckland dispute update May 2012

25 May

Dear Supporter

It has been awhile since we contacted you but I hope you have followed the developments in the Ports of Auckland dispute on our website.

Our rally on the 10th March was a great success and was the largest march and rally on workers’ rights in many years. We maintained a strong and visible picket at Teal Park until we returned to work. The first of our members returned to work on Thursday 5th April.

During the last couple of months we have had a lot of focus on our legal case and successfully obtained strong injunctions from Judge Travis which stop the Port Company contracting out our work until after our substantive legal case is heard (we currently are trying to obtain a date for this hearing).

POAL have continued to maintain, despite the legal decisions all contradicting their assertion that they have a “bullet proof legal case”, their intention to dismiss us all and contract out our jobs. Unless this position changes we will be unable to reach a settlement of the dispute and the costs to Auckland and the country will continue to mount up.

Throughout this period we have kept regular communication with the Auckland Council attempting to get them to recognise the mismanagement of POAL in handling this dispute. A very high profile example was the leaking of private information of a number of our members to a right wing blogger and the NBR.

We have seen a greater engagement by Council including a request to have the Port include ‘good employer’ requirements in the Statement of Intent and an indication that they want to agree a suitable rate of return from the Port (as you are probably aware the lift in the required rate of return from 6% to 12% has been used as a justification for the Port Company demands).

Where things currently stand are:
• Our members are back at work on the Port. There are a number of tensions there related to poor management of the return to work
• We are currently in a process of facilitated bargaining following a joint approach by the Port Company and ourselves to seek this assistance.

We remain committed to reaching an outcome where a fair collective agreement is concluded and where our work is not contracted out.
We will update you further when there are any further developments.

We appreciate your ongoing support. Please keep up to date by visiting our website www.saveourport.com and by contacting us directly. We would also appreciate it if you encouraged your family and friends to visit our website.

In solidarity
Garry Parsloe
President Local 13


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