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The Maritime Union of New Zealand said an agreement it had reached with Port Otago Limited is a "win win" situation that would prevent job losses.
In September Port Otago directors warned up to 35 people could lose their jobs following a "marked deterioration" in cargo volumes. Most of the jobs facing the axe were those of frontline stevedores.
Union national president Phil Adams said a meeting of 150 cargo handlers held yesterday at Port Chalmers voted in favour of a proposal hammered out by the unions and the company.
Members of the Maritime Union of New Zealand and the Rail and Maritime Transport Union attended the meeting.
Mr Adams said the proposal meant there would be no compulsory redundancies among the workforce.
"We believe the workforce will respond to the company's efforts by continuing to ensure a high level of productivity." He said some outstanding issues around the work force structure were also addressed by the unions.
"This is a mutually acceptable solution for Port Otago and its workforce and we are very happy that after some time a negotiated solution has been put in place." A number of voluntary redundancies are happening at Port Otago.
Mr Adams said he thought the agreement would lead to a stronger future for the port.
Port Otago Limited is owned by the people of Otago through the Otago Regional Council.