Auckland ports back down on contracting out

Posted By TEU on Mar 22, 2012 |

Ports of Auckland has halted plans to contract out nearly 300 jobs and gone back to the bargaining table with the Maritime Union.

The port had planned to make 292 workers redundant and contract out their jobs after a long-running industrial dispute. The Employment Court held a hearing on Monday into the dispute. That put a stayon the 292 redundancies that the ports company had announced.

Maritime Union president Garry Parsloe told TVNZworkers were “thrilled” by the decision and that it meant they can return to work under their collective agreement.

The president of the Council of Trade Unions, Helen Kelly, told Radio New Zealand the company is clearly nervous about its redundancy plan.

“Obviously the port has considered its legal position; last week there was no turning back, next minute we’re turning back and we’re into bargaining, which suggests they’ve had a reversal of their view that what they were undertaking was lawful.”

TEU national secretary Sharn Riggs said the turnaround for the port was an important moment not just for the wharfies but also for all union members.

“The port wanted to casualise its entire workforce. When it did not get exactly what it wanted it tried to sack its entire workforce and replace them with contract workers. If the Port gets away with that sort of behaviour workers all over the country, including in tertiary education, will be at risk of increased casualisation and job-insecurity,” said Ms Riggs.

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