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Here we go again at PoAL

Written By: - Date published: 2:17 pm, September 16th, 2012 - 42 comments
Categories: class war - Tags:

It looks like PoAL is gearing up for another go at their workers as the one year carry-over from the collective agreement runs out. As Matt McCarten points out:

In two weeks the wharfies union’s employment agreement lapses. The term of the document actually expired a year ago, but legally if a new agreement isn’t reached then it stays in force, protecting employees’ wages and conditions, for another 12 months.

On the 30th of this month union workers will default to individual contracts and then the Ports of Auckland could, according to my sources, restart their failed contracting-out campaign.

This time, rather than use the ongoing PR disaster that is Cameron Slater to carry their message, they’ve got their mate Rodney Hide to run their smears for them (remember he’s the man responsible for them a) getting their jobs and b) not having any responsibility to their bosses – the people of Auckland).

It seems to me that the board and management of PoAL haven’t learned their lesson from last time. I predict there will be another hard fight but that, once again, the union will prevail despite the playing field being tipped against them.

What I also predict is that the pathetic old corporate warriors who are driving this will walk away from their failure with their bonuses intact while the people of Auckland and the workers at PoAL will be the ones that have paid the price.

Rodney Hide and his ilk will bleat on about personal responsibility but he’s ensured the PoAL board and management will have to take no responsibility whatsoever for their failed ideological crusade. Like his dinosaur mates at PoAL, Hide’s just another cowardly and hypocritical Roark wannabe.

42 comments on “Here we go again at PoAL ”

  1. Colonial Viper 1

    Hopefully Len Brown has used this in-between time to sort this out for Aucklanders and for the workers. Right?

    • higherstandard 1.1

      He will have done as much as POAL, MUNZ and the ERA have………. i.e lots of hot air generated and very little of anything else.

      The only happy people will be those with jobs and income derived from POT.

  2. Tiger Mountain 2

    If POAL are not going to roll over current conditions till a settlement is reached but are indeed going to do what Matt is suggesting the heat has to go onto Lenslide and the board immediately.

    The PR turnaround for the wharfies was partly being portrayed as community members, fathers, partners, sports people etc in addition to their working life; and partly some actual facts rising to the surface during the successful legal part of the struggle.

    I always felt one R. Campbell departed rather quietly and the arrogance and dirty tricks displayed by other board members on their hind legs was an outstanding reminder of what the “1%ers” are like. If they need another dose of international and local solidarity they are highly likely to get one.

    How dare these POAL shitheads provoke a costly dispute then refuse to admit how costly?

  3. Craig Glen Eden 3

    Time for brown to support the workers and fulfill his campaign pledge to build a strong community.strong communities need families with decent wages aye Len

  4. millsy 4

    The POAL board, along with their supporters:

    Rodney Hide
    Cameron Slater
    Cameron Brewer
    Christine Fletcher
    Cathy Odgers
    David Farrar

    And many many more…

    Want nothing more, and nothing less than to slash the POAL workers wages and conditions. They want those wharfies earning minimum wage and to be sitting beside the phone all day and all night waiting to know if they will be working or not. They resent the generous wages and conditions and the guaranteed work hours that they get and want them all to be on the bones of their backside working long hours for stuff all cash.

    That is what they want.

    Plain and simple.

    • higherstandard 4.1

      Have you got a link for that ?

      • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1

        Just reading their actions. It’s what people do when they want to understand other people.

      • millsy 4.1.2

        Was more or less implied. Find it interesting that they all earn way more money than the wharfies.

        Forgot to add Fran O’Sullivan to that list. Nasty bit of work her.

        Not everyone wants to be freelance dog walkers, motivational coaches and travelling beauticians. Some people actually like the security of a 9 to 5 job with sick leave, annual holidays, etc.

      • xtasy 4.1.3

        If you want to learn, what a declaration of WAR against WORKERS looks like, look at this hideous story written by Rodney Hideous Hide today:

        http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=10834257

        He has been digging into Neanderthal mentality history of recent, well I am sure that Neanderthal man was more civilised and had better social functioning order, than he dreams of.

        Add all the bad, wrong poison, reflect the baddest of the bad or worst into the year 2012, and he will try to convince people that workers are all full of manipulation, hate and sabotage. Really NOT worth their value. That is Rodders now, after his initial “charm” attempts as a new Herald columnist.

        And for sure, they did not even allow a response option to readers now, full well knowing they (or HE) would get a hammering!

    • OneTrack 4.2

      Have you got a link for the “generous wages and conditions”? Average 91K per annum wasn’t it?

  5. captain hook 5

    higher standard is a national party toady and he will do and say anything to put people on the wrong track.
    and I have a link for that.
    http://www.national.toadies.com

  6. IrishBill 6

    I find it quite interesting that you can comment on Matt’s piece but not Rodney’s.

  7. Jenny 7

    Due to our Mayor Len Brown’s continued insouciance it seems it will be all on again….

    What has the Mayor been doing?

    What is our city’s leader actually getting paid for?

    Freed from any democratic oversight by our Mayor and elected councilors, and armed by them with an unscrutinised, secret and seemingly bottomless budget to carry on their union busting campaign. – The unelected and unaccountable, anti-union, right wing nut jobs appointed by Rodney Hide to run the Ports of Auckland, will despite having a zero mandate from us the owners, now at the first legal opportunity to do so, are determined to relaunch their previously failed illegal attack on union coverage at the port.

    In the light of Auckland local politician’s abrogation of leadership, how will we the citizens of Auckland and the ultimate owners of the port react to another escalation in anti-union activity by the port management?

    If they are called on, it is a proven fact that Aucklanders in response to any lockout or dismissal of union members will rally in thousands in support of the wharfies, as was proved earlier in the year. But this time we may need to go further to teach POAL a lesson and end our rally in support of the wharfies in an occupation of the port to make sure the union workers are kept in and the scabs are kept out.

    The inevitable result of such a showdown will be to deliver another climbdown defeat for the POAL management. Will they apologise? Will they finally have to give a total accounting of the financial cost of their failed anti-union pogrom?

    What will Mayor Brown do?

    Could it start with ‘Not’ and end with ‘Thing’?

    • Ed 7.1

      I’ve never got to grips with the detail of what powers the Auckland Mayor and/or Council have got with the “subsidiaries” like POAL – I suspect it would take the government to pass legislation for the Council to give direction / requirements as some think should happen. It would be interesting to have a summary. At least Auckland still have a Council – with National deferring an election in Canterbury, there is no telling what else they may do if elected officials do something they don’t like.

      • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1

        I suspect it would take the government to pass legislation for the Council to give direction / requirements as some think should happen.

        Yep, it seems that Rodney Hide’s legislation specifically prevents the council from doing anything. Can’t even give direction to what a business that belongs to the people of Auckland. And here’s me thinking that Hide believed in property rights.

      • muzza 7.1.2

        Actually the council sets the KPIs, along with the mayor and ceo, via a Statement of Intent on the ACIL portfolio, which POAL sits inside of.

        The councilors in many cases are unclear on what they are/are not able to say or do in such situations was was had earlier this year, and as seems to continue again.

        The battle is not about the POA, its about the land it sits on top of!

    • xtasy 7.2

      “What has the Mayor been doing?”

      If you really want to know what your “mayor” got up to, have a look at this:
      http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/BU1207/S00885/tamaki-redevelopment-company-heads-of-agreement-applauded.htm

      So, to get this right: Evict long term (white and “brown”) Housing NZ tenants en masse. Hand over houses that used to be administered and owned by Housing NZ to developers. Sell prime real estate to greedy developers wanting to build expensive homes for better off and divide the suburban society. Ignore human rights and social cohesion and a whole community. Sell, disown, work with a greedy Key led government, dear Len(d) your labour, land, homes, assets ans more to any other speculator and rich bastard, dear Mr “Brown”.

      You have witnessed what he did, or failed to do, in the last labour dispute. Expect more of that, of a prime self centred, hypocritical “Labour” mayor in future. NADA!

  8. Poission 8

    The problematic issue is that the slant bias by Hide is that the unions are bad and hence the constraints implied (productivity ) are caused by union designed bad work practice.

    (Un)fortunately (depending on your POV ) this does not seem to be the actual reality.The MOT CONTAINER PORT PRODUCTIVITY 2011 report suggests

    New Zealand ports had differing results in 2009 and 2010, reflecting the differing situations for each port. Tauranga performed well for crane, ship and vessel rates, while Auckland and Otago had vessel rates comparable with Tauranga. The trends over the last two calendar years show that crane rates at New Zealand ports on average have been static, but ship and vessel rates on average have grown about four percent per annum. The container productivity of New Zealand ports appears at least comparable with, and in some cases better than, Australian and other international ports.

    However the metrics are not scale invariant ( you can not extrapolate exactly between ports) due to crane use ( some use 1 or 2) dependent on vessels in port, available space ,design layout etc.

    Other reasons also are that poal has to provide a return on capital of 12%whether that is a ROI off actual assets or revalued I am unsure of but suspicions are the latter.

    Another overlooked issue is opportunity ie the ability of NZ ports to compete directly with Australia,an issue brought up in the Aus. Castalia report eg

    This productivity evidence provides important economic context for wage negotiations. Further wage increases without commensurate productivity gains would put an additional strain on the competitiveness of the Australian traded sector.

    This report also compares stevedoring wages in Australia with those in New Zealand and the US. Both the US and New Zealand are developed economies with similar working conditions and safety standards to Australia. Like Australia, both the US and New Zealand are significant commodity exporters and importers of manufactured goods from Asia. Hence, the effects of port costs in these economies are likely to be similar to the effects in Australia. New Zealand ports, over the medium term, may also provide direct competition to Australian ports, since containers from Asia and the US may be either shipped to New Zealand directly or transhipped through Australian hubs. The ability to grow hubs in Australia will depend on the relative efficiency of ports here and in New Zealand.

    We find that Australian stevedoring wages are significantly higher than in both New Zealand and the US. There is no evidence to suggest that this is offset by greater productivity.

    The literature or a least both papers,have the same similar constraints,extrapolation of metrics is questionable at least for comparative analysis so care is needed.

    1) Container productivity at New Zealand ports REPORT OCTOBER 2011 (mot)

    2) Port wage cost report June 2012 Castalia.

    • Jenny 8.1

      Detailed, impressive, but mostly irrelevant.

      No matter how many concessions the union have made in the recent negotiations it has not been enough to satisfy the Ports management.

      The POAL management want to replace the unionised workforce with a compliant non-union contract workforce. This has been the Ports of Auckland management’s singular demand since the beginning. Whether a non-union contract workforce is more efficient is not at issue. It’s all about control.
      Removing the democratic say of the workers in their conditions of employment is the desired outcome. To bullying control freaks like Rodney Hide and his ilk, matters of employment are to be decided by management and by management solely. Workers are to be automatons, ‘human resources’ that like other ‘resources’ can be turned on, or off, at the employers will. Total control and disempowerment of employees in their workplace is the end result they seek.

      In this they echo the plaint of the original management control freak Henry Ford, who once said; “How is it that when all I want is a pair of hands I get a human being along as well?

      In this inhuman demand, bullying out of control management control freaks will always be resisted.

      Ka whawhai tonu matou Ake! Ake! ake!

    • Urban Rascal 8.2

      This is great, doesn’t it show that it is in the Australian Ports and shipping industries interest to undermine New Zealand Ports?

      “The ability to grow hubs in Australia will depend on the relative efficiency of ports here and in New Zealand.”

  9. Rodney Hide and his ilk will bleat on about personal responsibility but he’s ensured the PoAL board and management will have to take no responsibility whatsoever for their failed ideological crusade.

    Which makes Hide’s disingenous bleatings about union corruption so much more laughable. There’s a hell of a beam to remove from his own eye before considering the odd union mote.

  10. RedLogix 10

    Next step .. legislation from the govt to ensure that the PoAL board wins. They lost last time because the Court ruled their actions illegal and logically they’re not taking on the same fight a second time without knowing that the deal has already been sealed.

    As for Hide … talk of corruption from a man who couldn’t get his Parliamentary expenses right!!

    • Jenny 10.1

      I am afraid I have some bad news for the Ports of Auckland management.
      Having all the lawyers and human resources experts in the world ensuring you that they have all the legal and organisational ends all fully tied up. And with compliant council politicians behind you assuring you they will not question the budget necessary to sustain a long lockout or strike. Despite all this the Ports of Auckland management will still be delivered a defeat by MUNZ and their supporters.

      Who can doubt it?

      Of course POAL won’t listen to this advice and will blindly carry on down their inevitable path causing suffering and disruption all around. Except to themselves of course, continuing to draw their huge salaries while sitting in their air conditioned offices directing this debacle. The ratepayers will be the ones left to pick up the tab for this attack of management hubris, while the guilty will be left to receive their golden parachutes.

  11. burt 11

    A tag used for this post is “class war” – is that because the union classes are at war against the rate payers, consumers and businesses of Auckland ?

    • Blue 11.1

      No, it’s because the boardroom classes are at war against the ratepayers, determined to make them pick up the tab for their suicidally stupid behaviour.

      How much is it going to cost this time, when the POAL board fights the same fight it has already lost, yet again. They won’t even give figures out for how much it cost the ratepayers last time, and now they’re ready for round 2 of wasting ratepayers money with absolutely no accountability.

      POAL’s crusade to get a contracting workforce was supposed to save a few million dollars a year. They’ve already wasted decades worth of those supposed savings pushing their position.

      That’s tories for you though. Try to cut costs by a penny and end up spending a hundred bucks.

      • Jenny 11.1.1

        As the saying goes – ‘It is only called class war when working people fight back’.

        POAL should be warned by history, (but they won’t), that the biggest ever industrial disputes in New Zealand (and the world) grew from unprovoked premeditated attacks from ignorant management on often small but experienced and organised and networked groups of workers.

        No doubt POAL will ignore this history, (and even their most recent defeat), and ignorantly proceed down a path that will lead them inevitably into an industrial dispute greater, more prolonged and more all encompassing than anything that has proceeded it in recent memory. Something that their blinkered management group think could never have imagined and which they will not be able to cope with.

        What will they do then?

        Finding themselves in beyond their depth, hypocritically they will call on local or central government intervention.

        A precondition for any government intervention should be the sacking of all these incompetent rat bags without compensation.

    • The ratepayers, consumers and businesses of Auckland are looked on as collateral damage by the board and senior management of PoAL in their war on MUNZ. Sucks, but that’s what we get for electing a govt that considered Rodney Hide cabinet material.

  12. XSTASY 12

    Perhaps study and learn from:


    la revolutionaria de estudiantes de Chile

  13. xtasy 13

    Perhaps study and learn from:


    la revolutionaria de estudiantes de Chile

  14. captain hook 14

    so who has a ball park figure for executive bonusses at POAL this year?

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