Industrial action by port workers likely

Port Otago seems set for industrial action from tomorrow.

This comes after the two maritime unions - Rail and Maritime Transport and Maritime Union of NZ - confirmed an overtime ban from this Saturday after again failing to resolve an impasse between Port Otago management and the two unions which represent 250 of its workers.

If it goes ahead, it is believed it would be the first industrial action at the port in more than a decade.

Union spokesman John Kerr said while progress had been made in mediated bargaining yesterday, the overtime ban would still begin on Saturday.

"Discussions today did not result in sufficient progress for the unions to withdraw notice of the overtime ban, accordingly a complete and indefinite ban on overtime will begin this Saturday," he said.

A local Moray Place landlord asked Dunedin police to help disperse Port Otago demonstrators...
A local Moray Place landlord asked Dunedin police to help disperse Port Otago demonstrators yesterday. PHOTO: RUDY HUETING
Further mediated talks have been set down for next Wednesday.

Mr Kerr said the main sticking points were still fatigue management and pay.

He said the overtime ban would have an immediate impact.

"Management are regularly dependent on workers to do 14-hour shifts in order to turn around ships. Worker availability for overtime will stop on Saturday. As the port gets busier in the build-up towards Christmas, this impact will be compounded.

"We regret any inconvenience to port users or customers but we can no longer tolerate the real and meaningful health and safety risk to workers that fatigue represents," he said.

In response to questions as to the possible effect of the action, Port Otago general manager of operations Kevin Kearney said only that Port Otago looked forward to concluding an agreement in due course.



Only 10% of New Zealands workforce is Unionised. Discount those who are forced to join, and we see again that Labour have manifested a Bolshevik tail to wag the dog of the New Zealand people.

Fourteen hour days, working with dangerous equipment, and you have the nerve to call this communism!?
If you took a closer look at your beloved "Free Market" principles, you'd realise that an efficient market is one where buyers and sellers have equal negotiating power. In this case of buyers and sellers of labour then, the union evens up the playing field.
Market efficiency is a combination of value created by both buyers and sellers, not just one player in the market.
Poor Health and Safety practices result in increased medical costs for taxpayers. This has been researched and confirmed time and time again. The port cutting corners to save money then, costs us all. That's corporate welfare. That's an inefficient market.
Don't buy into the lies, that's just the elite pulling the wool over your eyes for their own benefit.
Unions create efficiency in labour markets. That's a fact and it's not Communism.
Be informed.