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Local Board Members unite to oppose privatisation and contracting out at Ports of Auckland

Local Board Members call for urgent change of approach at Ports of Auckland

Media Release: 23 February 2012

Thirty four Auckland Local Board members from twelve different Boards* are jointly calling for urgent action to resolve the Ports of Auckland dispute ahead of a planned two week strike starting tomorrow, Friday February 24.

“We repeat our call for the one hundred percent AucklandCouncil owned Ports Company to urgently get back into negotiations with theunion for a new Collective Agreement. The strategic importance of resolving thedispute is overwhelming now, and it is time for Ports management to listen andadopt a different approach”, say the Board members.

“The chorus of voices calling for Ports of Auckland totake a more pragmatic approach is growing rapidly. A group of business leadersand major port stakeholders last week called for a new vision for the port and an end to labour casualisation proposals, and key Council leaders havecalled for a return to good faith bargaining with a focus on productivityimprovements with a directly employed workforce”

“The message is simple. The Port company needs to backoff from its extreme proposals to outsource or casualise the workforce. Theseproposals are a barrier to reaching a settlement, and they run counter to thevision of secure employment and stable communities that runs through many LocalBoard Plans, and the draft Auckland Plan. Improved productivity should bedeveloped through a negotiated partnership approach with the workforce, rather than by firingall existing staff and contracting work out”

“The Maritime Union has publicly stated that it will liftthe planned strike action if negotiations resume. We strongly urge Ports ofAuckland to publicly re-commit to negotiations without the threat of out-sourcing.  The approach taken to date is creatingunnecessary economic and legal risk for the city and the Council. That isunacceptable and it is incumbent on Ports of Auckland, as a company ultimatelyresponsible to Council and ratepayers in our communities, to re-assess their approach”, conclude the Board members.

ENDS

Contact: Michael Wood – 022-659-6360

Full list of Local Board Members issuing this statement: * Please note that each Board member issuing this statement does so in their own right only, and not on behalf of their Board.

Helga Arlington, Albert-Eden Josephine Bartley, Maungakiekie-Tamaki Leila Boyle, Maungakiekie-Tamak (Chair) Jesse Chalmbers, Waitemata Shale Chambers, Waitemata (Chair) Caroline Conroy, Papakura Pippa Coom, Waitemata Christopher Dempsey, Waitemata Graeme Easte, Albert-Eden Carrol Elliot, Mangere-Otahuhu Tunumafono Ava Fa’amoe, Otara-Papatoetoe Julie Fairey, Puketapapa Catherine Farmer, Whau Grant Gillon, Kaipataki John Gillon, Kaipataki Mary Gush, Otara-Papatoetoe Peter Haynes, Albert-Eden (Chair) Neil Henderson, Waitakere Ranges Richard Hills, Kaipataki Viv Keohane, Kaipataki Chris Makoare, Maungakiekie-Tamaki Tracey Martin, Rodney Christine O’Brien, Mangere-Otahuhu Greg Presland, Waitakere Ranges Simon Randall, Maungakiekie-Tamaki Tricia Reade, Waitemata Denise Roche, Waiheke Leau Peter Skelton, Mangere-Otahuhu (Chair) Lydia Sosene, Mangere-Otahuhu Rob Thomas, Waitemata Alan Verrall, Maungakiekie-Tamaki Margi Watson, Albert-Eden Michael Wood, Puketapapa Denise Yates, Waitakere Ranges (Chair)

 

Local Board Members unite to oppose privatisation and contracting out at Ports of Auckland

Media Release 16 January 2012

In an unprecedented move, 28 Auckland Local Board members from 10 different Boards are uniting to call for Ports of Auckland to return to good faith bargaining and drop plans to outsource jobs at the port (a full list of Board Members is below).

“Ports of Auckland Ltd is a Council-owned company. We support its operational independence, but the current dispute has escalated to a strategic level.  We are particularly concerned that actions being taken by Port management, including what appears to be a pre-determined strategy to contract out port jobs, are inflaming matters”, say the Board members.

Internal POAL strategy documents released last week show that Ports management was considering a contracting out strategy well in advance of negotiations. http://www.munz.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/poal_labour_strategy.pdf

“Along with everyone else involved, we recognise the need for competitive levels of operational efficiency at the port. But Port management’s proposal to fire a skilled workforce and contract out their jobs to an external provider, with few work-life balance protections for employees and their families, is not the best way to achieve this.”

“We believe that Ports of Auckland has a responsibility to be a good employer, and to live up to the principles that its 100% owner the Auckland Council promotes in the draft Auckland Plan and in numerous Local Board Plans. Driving Aucklanders’ employment conditions and job security down in a race to the bottom is no way to build the world’s most liveable city.”

“We’re also concerned that the dispute is being used as a wedge by some councillors and interest groups to promote port privatisation. We support Mayor Len Brown’s unequivocal pro-public ownership platform, and believe the Port CEO would be well advised to publicly support it too.”

“The details of any settlement are for the parties to negotiate, but it is quite clear to us that a way forward should be possible that improves productivity without privatisation and contracting out being threatened, neither of which are proven cures. We hope that Port management and the Maritime Union will take a constructive approach and negotiate a settlement in good faith on this basis”, conclude the Board members.

ENDS

Contact: Michael Wood – 022-659-6360

Full list of Local Board Members issuing this statement:
* Please note that each Board member issuing this statement does so in their own right only, and not on behalf of their Board.

Helga Arlington, Albert-Eden
Josephine Bartley, Maungakiekie-Tamaki
Leila Boyle, Maungakiekie-Tamak (Chair)
Jesse Chalmbers, Waitemata
Shale Chambers, Waitemata (Chair)
Pippa Coom, Waitemata
Christopher Dempsey, Waitemata
Graeme Easte, Albert-Eden
Carrol Elliot, Mangere-Otahuhu
Tunumafono Ava Fa’amoe, Otara-Papatoetoe
Julie Fairey, Puketapapa
Catherine Farmer, Whau
Grant Gillon, Kaipataki
John Gillon, Kaipataki
Mary Gush, Otara-Papatoetoe
Peter Haynes, Albert-Eden (Chair)
Neil Henderson, Waitakere Ranges
Richard Hills, Kaipataki
Chris Makoare, Maungakiekie-Tamaki
Greg Presland, Waitakere Ranges
Simon Randall, Maungakiekie-Tamaki
Tricia Reade, Waitemata
Denise Roche, Waiheke
Leau Peter Skelton, Mangere-Otahuhu (Chair)
Lydia Sosene, Mangere-Otahuhu
Alan Verrall, Maungakiekie-Tamaki
Michael Wood, Puketapapa
Denise Yates, Waitakere Ranges (Chair)

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