Frustrating day with Port Otago, unions say

Union members protesting earlier this month. Photo: Rudy Hueting
Union members protesting earlier this month. Photo: Rudy Hueting
The Rail and Maritime Transport Union and Maritime Union of New Zealand will have a closed meeting of its full membership - 250 workers - in Port Chalmers tomorrow, following what they describe as "a day of frustration'' during mediation with Port Otago management.

Kevin Winders: $100,000 boost.
Kevin Winders: $100,000 boost.
The unions met with Port Otago today.

Key sticking points between management and the unions include fatigue management and a claim for a 4% pay rise across the board, backdated to July 2019.  The port has offered 2%.

"It's gotten to the unique stage where the parties can't even agree what we don't agree on'',  unions spokesperson John Kerr said.

The company's positive financial performance would also likely be a heated point of discussion at the meeting.

Port Otago today reported a 12% improvement in earnings to $49.3 million, announcing a dividend of $8.45 million payable to its parent, the Otago Regional Council.

The results also disclosed an overall increase of $100,000 in remuneration to its chief executive, Kevin Winders, to more than $610,000, including incentive payments.

The unions, which represent 250 of the port's workers, have had a ban on overtime from Saturday.

Port Otago chairman David Faulkner said the port wouldn't be making any statements until the "process ran its course".

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