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More from the Port…

Written By: - Date published: 7:25 am, March 14th, 2012 - 6 comments
Categories: auckland supercity - Tags:

As the intransigence of the Port of Auckland management and board continues, action from the Left continues on a number of fronts.

There’s to be an emergency Council meeting on Thursday (11.15, public meeting) after it was felt that Richard Northey’s resolution against the contracting out was too controversial for his Accountability and Performance Committee and had to go to the full Council. As I understand it that resolution is now unlikely to proceed as internal legal advice is questioning whether the Council has the right to intervene in directors’ decisions as it would compromise their independence.

So the unions are focussing on court action which is likely to be this Friday, and mediation efforts of “2 wise men” (acceptable to both sides) plus the mayor.

But the fact that the Council is apparently not allowed an opinion on how its own businesses are run shows up the ludicrousness of the SuperCity structures that National put in. Ports of Auckland, Watercare and Auckland Transport (which by itself is the majority of Aucklanders’ rates bills) are essentially a law unto themselves; beyond the control of the Council, and thus of the people of Auckland.

The Council can, in theory, sack the Auckland Council Investments Limited (ACIL) board and put in a new one with a mandate to sack the Ports of Auckland (PoA) board and put in a board that sacks the Port management… But even that first step could likely be overturned in the courts – as if the ACIL board believe the PoA board that management are bargaining in good faith (which apparently they did, despite the evidence to the contrary), there are probably insufficient grounds for the Council to sack them.

So the Rodney-appointed crew appear safe to do what they like, far beyond Aucklanders’ control.

There’s even a rumour – that the PoA board aren’t denying – that their third labour supplier will be a PoA manager who’s in the negotiations. At any rate they have the new (lower-wage, casualised) stevedore employment contracts drawn up for any of the suppliers’ workforces, so the notion that they’ll be “independent contractors” is laughable.

So here now is where Len should be focussing, having missed the boat on taking moral leadership on people before profit, or a high-wage Auckland economy. He should now focus his guns on his own impotence: that fact that he – and through him the people of Auckland – have no say in how large important parts of the city is run. The qualms many Aucklanders had over National’s supercity are coming to fruition.

In the meantime, you can lobby the Councillors to make a statement on Thursday – even an apparently ‘illegal’ one. And you can lobby the ACIL board to do something about the PoA one – although ACIL apparently don’t meet again until April 4.

6 comments on “More from the Port… ”

  1. If Len and the Auckland Council ever needed a reason to get involved the leaking of sensitive information about a worker’s dying wife to Slater ought to justify it.  This particular act reeks of bad faith and ought to be condemned.

  2. hellonearthis 2

    I think I should make a hat brand called ‘Good Faith’ so that the management can put them on and do their deals in ‘Good Faith’.

  3. tc 3

    Long overdue for a web site that calls it down the line, left right whatever it’s clear as day that Akl has been screwed by the NACT yet people have been smudged into thinking there was no other choice.

    To have an elected council that has little authority shows how it was setup so that rortney and his mates could access the assets like POAL, watercare etc with the likes of Pearson, Ford etc overseeing the sell off.

    Apparently Fords transport plan is a great read if you’re a road builder, now there’s a surprise.

  4. Jenny 4

    National Radio today. Ports of Auckland Management say they will still refuse to attend any mediation by the Mayor.

    I imagine that if any other employee when called to attend mediation with their employer, just flatly refused to attend, it would be good grounds for dismissal.

    Who the hell do they think they are?

    Who voted for them?

    Where is their mandate?

    It’s almost like a Monty Python sketch.

  5. Jenny 5

    National Radio today. Ports of Auckland Management say they will still refuse to attend any mediation by the Mayor.

    I imagine that if any other employee when called to attend mediation with their employer, just flatly refused to attend, it would be good grounds for dismissal.

    I think MUNZ should seek an injunction compelling the Ports to attend the Mayors offer of mediation.

    Any judge aware of the labour law requiring good faith bargaining could hardly refuse but to grant such an injunction.

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