You have to respect how the Ports of Auckland workers stood staunch in the face of the bosses’ attempt to contract out their jobs, without support from the ‘leftwing’ mayor and against an expensive PR effort. They’re still getting their own back. PoAL has just been fined for employing a strikebreaker. And, in Lyttelton, wharfies have started a smart new campaign.
On the excuse that they had to minimise disruption to port work – which only came about because of their plan to cut the port workers’ pay – the PoAL bosses hired a foreign engineer for $10,000 a week to do some of the port work. It was a clear and illegal attempt at strikebreaking by replacing the labour of striking workers with new workers. PoAL has been fined $40,000. Add that to the massive bill in lost custom caused by the bosses’ stupid idea to save money by cutting the workers’ pay packets and you have to wonder why any of the bosses still have their jobs.
Not only do they have them, I bet they paid themselves bonuses too.
Just like in Lyttelton, where the port boss got a $600,000 bonus for increased volumes in the last financial year compared to the previous one (the previous one being the year when the port was closed for a period by earthquake damage). The workers there have launched a campaign for the boss to share his bonus with the workers. It’s perfectly reasonable – he didn’t make the port productivity, they did. And what’s he going to do with an extra $600,000 on top of his already generous pay? Divide that among the workers, though, and you’ve got a nice bit extra for everyone. Pretty hard to argue against the basic fairness of that.
I can see that campaign being repeated across the country.