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Port developments

Written By: - Date published: 9:15 am, March 17th, 2012 - 97 comments
Categories: capitalism, class war, jobs, Unions, workers' rights - Tags: ,

Ports of Auckland management may be starting to realise that they have bitten off more than they can chew. This is an encouraging development:

Port’s redundancy plans halted

LATEST: Ports of Auckland has halted plans to make nearly 300 striking workers redundant and to employ other workers to do their jobs.

In a minute issued by the Employment Court last night, the port agreed not to proceed with its plans until after a settlement conference takes place on Monday. The port will ”take no further steps” to make striking workers redundant, to dismiss staff or employ other workers to do their jobs.

The Maritime Union and the port will now file their evidence to the court and a hearing will take place on March 26.

Judge Barry Travis commended the ports for “agreeing to the voluntary process”.

An outbreak of sanity among the directors? Or maybe this had something to do with it:

International union organisation issues “red alert” about ports dispute

March 14, 2012
News release from International Trade Union Confederation

The powerful group of global unions – which between them represent tens of millions of unionised workers – today said they are now on ‘red alert’ over the treatment of workers in New Zealand that is being dramatically illustrated by disputes at the Ports of Auckland, Affco and the Oceania care company.

The warning was sounded today by the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF), International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), International Union of Foodworkers (IUF), Public Services International (PSI), and the Council of Global Unions.

They demanded an end to the union-busting measures that New Zealand’s workers have endured over recent months, and highlighted the amended Employment Relations Act 2000, which has reduced workers’ rights and encouraged poor employers to attempt to crush worker and union resistance. (The statement appears in full below).

The ITF has mobilised its 690 member trade unions – which include 221 dockworker unions with 400,000 docker members worldwide – in support of the workers who the Port of Auckland is trying to throw out of their jobs. Paddy Crumlin, who chairs the ITF dockers’ section and is ITF president and MUA national secretary, explained:

“What’s happening in Auckland is a naked attack on the workers and their union, the MUNZ, and it’s creating worldwide repercussions. Messages of solidarity from ITF members have flooded in, and those same unions are contacting New Zealand embassies in their own countries. The ITF has today been told by the country’s High Commission in London that it ‘would not be appropriate’ to meet to discuss how a settlement in POAL can be reached – a sad abrogation of responsibility that shows how the government in Wellington is hoping that this attack on workers can be covered up and tidied away.”

ITF general secretary David Cockroft stated: “I am glad to report that the ITF’s worldwide force of ship inspectors are right now visiting vessels and explaining to their officers and crews what is being attempted by POAL’s management. We have also ensured that it is at the forefront of the minds of the shipping community, who value good and efficient port relations. …

Looks like the world is now watching the Auckland Port. Management have to start acting in “good faith” whether they like it or not. Let’s hope the cessation of the redundancy process is the start of a genuinely constructive solution. And let’s hear it for international solidarity!

97 comments on “Port developments ”

  1. Mark 1

    Meanwhile more of MUNZ “facts” about safety, productivity and earnings are thoroughly discredited by POT
     

    • Kotahi Tane Huna 1.1

      And if any of that were true you’d be providing references. Tool.

      • Mark 1.1.1

        “From POT, graph didn’t paste”
        We have been really disappointed with the factual inaccuracies and unprofessional misrepresentation of the safety record of our port by the CTU President, Helen Kelly.  Unfortunately, we have had to waste shareholders’ money (which ironically includes >90% of our staff who hold shares in the Company) to instruct our solicitors to warn Ms Kelly against recklessly continuing in this regard.  Her statements about the safety record of this port are factually incorrect and we believe deliberately misleading.
        We are aware that the CTU have made an Official Information Request to the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC), seeking our port’s claims history.  We are aware of this because ACC asked for our consent to release this information as they are bound to do under the Privacy Act.  We of course agreed to this information being released as we are proud of the improvement in safety performance at the port.
        The actual ACC claims history shows Port of Tauranga to have one of the best safety records of all New Zealand ports – less than half the NZ ports’ average.  Ms Kelly is in possession of this information, but chooses to ignore it, as it clearly does not fit her argument.
        This data from ACC is presented graphically for your information below.  Again, because of Privacy Act issues, ACC disguise the names of other NZ ports.  Perhaps you could ask Ports of Auckland to identify which port they are?


        Port Safety Performance – Comparative

         
        Safety is our number 1 priority at the Port and in fact we have a goal of achieving a zero harm work environment and considerable management effort is focused on striving to achieve this goal.  Our Board set a target this financial year to try and achieve a 30% improvement in Total Injury Frequency Rate – we are proud to have just achieved this improvement last month.
        Ms Kelly also goes on to suggest there is a race to the bottom between the two ports with respect to pay and working conditions.  I would dispute this: many of our skilled workers actually earn more than the Ernst & Young figures for Ports of Auckland’s average stevedoring income.  I am very comfortable with this – our employees and contractors are highly skilled and work very hard to consistently deliver upper decile productivity. I guess the main difference though is that they expect to be working, when they are paid to be working!  Maybe this explains why our Port of Tauranga has net crane productivity rates 38% greater than Ports of Auckland’s (Ministry of Transport data) or on a gross measure (not allowing for netting out smoko breaks and any industrial action), the difference in gross crane rate between Ports of Auckland and Port of Tauranga is some 60% (shipping line data).

        • ianmac 1.1.1.1

          Can’t see anything there but bluster.

          • Kotahi Tane Huna 1.1.1.1.1

            It’s always interesting to see examples of what passes for evidence in feeble-minded land.

        • rosy 1.1.1.2

          Great that >90% of workers have shares in the company. Is that permanent workers and what is the ratio of permanent to casual workers? and manual/office worker shareholders?

          I’m also trying to figure out how the PoT piece fits with this news item in the BoP Times last month:

          Port of Tauranga’s Maritime Union organiser Selwyn Russell told the Bay of Plenty Times it was not uncommon to have accidents involving “digits, little bits of fingers, arms and sprained ankles”. “But I don’t think you will see them in the paperwork.”

          Mr Russell said casual workers often took whatever hours they could and did not want to lose their chance of getting work by speaking up.

          “It’s real concerning. Everyone’s really worried about what will happen if they report something. I know people who have hurt themselves but didn’t say anything because they might not get picked,” he said….

          … The worker said although there were health and safety procedures in place, short cuts were often taken because it was not possible to stick to safety rules and load ships in time.

          “You are continuously under pressure to get the ship loaded and out as soon as possible. Because the industry is so competitive, you have companies competing for contracts and that all comes down to time.

          “It makes it quite a dangerous place to work. I’m not saying the bosses are horrible but they are squeezing us. Because you are casual you are forced to take what shifts you can …”

          This was usually in the form of “rolling shifts”, resulting in tired staff with a dangerous environment, the worker said.

          Casual workers at the port make on average nearly $20 an hour before tax.

          Unreported safety incidents – interesting claims and counter-claims there.

          • Grumpy 1.1.1.3.1

            The two links referring to fatalities, seem to be the same accident, a Fulton Hogan worker, working on road works. The third link is just general unsubstantiated allegations made during the POAL dispute.

            Who’s the troll?

            • muzza 1.1.1.3.1.1

              “In June this year, two Bay companies were fined a total of $55,000 after a forklift ran over and killed stevedore Brian Kevin Shannon, 61, of Otumoetai at the port on June 2010.”

              “On December 17 last year, a 35-year-old Chinese seaman died after falling from the side of the logging ship Green Hope and into the water in Tauranga Harbour.”

              Dont read so good do you hillbilly…

              Talk of unsubstantiated claims….what a chip on shoulder little twerp you must be in real life!

              You have nothing to offer, and like Mark clearly have not involved yourself.

              Go away

              • Grumpy

                So, one was a Fulton Hogan road worker, one was a Chinese seaman who fell off the side of a ship and the other….??

                Please explain how the third relates to POT, they claim none of these accidents has anything to do with them and not in areas of the port under their control, your own links seem to support POT claim.

                Which of these fatalities were to POT workers and which we’re in areas under their control.?

                Please do better……

                • muzza

                  ACIL, PBE, SOI, ROE – Go read what they are they are and how they direct the PoAL management..

                  Nah too hard for you eh!

                  Anything else you sideshow bob types can come up with to try validate your pathetic attempts to demonise workers of this country, and frankly, my city….is a red herring!

                  But thats the point isn’t it!

                  • Grumpy

                    Near enough good enough, is it?

                    Pathetic……

                  • Grumpy

                    You are an idiot muzzy, show me where I have “demonized workers”.

                    You are making the old mistake of letting your class hatred get in the way of your judgement.

                    • muzza

                      “You are making the old mistake of letting your class hatred get in the way of your judgement.” – Oh dear, did my name fool you into thinking that I have class envy…you sorry little man!

                      Anyone who has class envy or even uses the word class, is below words…

                      I work for AKL Council and am rather close to the action…., and those documents ive tried to point you in the direction of = VERY RELEVANT!

                • The beauty about having most of the workforce as contractors is that all sorts of funny stuff can happen with the ACC figures.  I would like to also see what is actually being measured.  

              • Grumpy

                Oh, and the third was at a freight forwarders yard and was employed by NZ Logistics.

                So, we have;

                A Fulton Hogan road worker killed while doing road works, killed by a grader driven by another Fulton Hogan worker.

                A Chinese seaman falling off a ship at Mt Maunganui, nothing tondo with POT

                An employee of a private freight forwarder killed in their yard, nothing to do with POT

                One thing in common, they all happened near the city of Tauranga and near water , so that’s good enough for you is it?

                [Deleted. All arguments around the use of pseudonyms will be moderated. ..RL]

              • prism

                @ muzza I think when rude remarks are being thrown at a commenter the way to target it would be to put their name at the top. This muzza rant doesn’t make clear its target.

        • Puddleglum 1.1.1.4

          Ms Kelly also goes on to suggest there is a race to the bottom between the two ports with respect to pay and working conditions.  I would dispute this: many of our skilled workers actually earn more than the Ernst & Young figures for Ports of Auckland’s average stevedoring income.

          Pardon?

          “Many” of their skilled workers “actually earn more” than the POAL average stevedoring income. 

          First, I suspect that ‘many’ of POAL stevedores also earn more than the average (wasn’t that the claim of the POAL?).

          Second, how come not “all” of their skilled workers earn more than the average income at POAL? If “all” don’t earn above that average then that seems like good evidence that POT are paying less.

          Why didn’t whoever released this simply say that the average income (calculated as Ernst and Young calculated their average) at POT was greater than that at POAL? 

    • Mark 1.2

      Edit didn’t work..  another strategic blunder by MUNZ, further discrediting the wharfies and hurting their cause.
      Parsloe and Kelly just don’t get it, and you can shoot the messenger as much as you like, but I’ll wager that MUNZ will get shot down in the Employment Court, and further lose any public support  they may have had.
      Tragic 

      • Te Reo Putake 1.2.1

        “… but I’ll wager that MUNZ will get shot down in the Employment Court,…”

        On what grounds, Mark?

        • Mark 1.2.1.1

          On the grounds that (whether morally or ideoligacly you find it palatable) it looks as though they have acted legally. Any acts of bad faith from either side have probably cancelled each other out.
          I don’t think there is much doubt that the battle of public opinion has been lost ,but this shouldn’t influence the Court proceedings.

          • Kotahi Tane Huna 1.2.1.1.1

            On the grounds that my sad prejudice won’t allow me to consider any other possibility. FIFY

          • Te Reo Putake 1.2.1.1.2

            Interesting to note that you accept this comes down to POAL having to defend the legality of their behaviour. Not a good look in itself, is it?
             
            While you are partially right about the faith arguments, in that there is concept of ‘clean hands’, which might limit outcomes, first you’d have to prove that both sides acted in bad faith. I can’t see that being true of MUNZ. Certainly not to the level that would see the court allowing POAL to carry on down this track.
             
            POAL risks being told to start the whole process again. Which would be an end to it, I imagine. They couldn’t afford another 6 months of pariah status.

          • mickysavage 1.2.1.1.3

            So you admit Mark that POAL has engaged in bad faith behavior.  

            • Grumpy 1.2.1.1.3.1

              I have worked in management for a company that triggered a dispute to intentionally restructure it’s workforce, so I don’t think it impossible. MUNZ and Kelly have played this badly as I think Brown is intimating. They have left him nothing to help them with.
              The Employment Court will decide one way or the other…..

              • Well if Mark and Grumpy are agreeing that POAL has acted in bad faith then there is something seriously wrong that a publicly owned entity can act in this way.

                • tsmithfield

                  Take a look at the second link provided by Muzza, Micky.

                  The following statement is made which seems to have come from the reporter, whom I assume has got the information from ACC:

                  “Port of Tauranga has one of the lowest claims history with ACC out of all New Zealand ports.”

                  This would seem to provide some clarity to the meaning of the statistical figures, do you think?

                  • muzza

                    Ok lets be very clear on this – The debate again spun off into an area of irrelevance which was port safety. While not an irrelevant issue per se, while trying to show that PoAL workforce should be contraced out, the argument is totally irrelevant..

                    I have given the names relevant articles and information, which along with the employments court will be where the decisions are made. Here they are again, ACIL, PBE, SOI, ROE

                    I do agree that it is likely that MUNZ have had poor strategy, however this is not the reason why Len Brown and the council have not stepped in – From correspondence it seems that the legalities around the CCO/ACIL is unclear to them, to the point where AKL Councilors are not even sure what they are able to say about the issue..how terrible is that. They are the voice of the owners of the Port of Auckland, and the advise they are getting is that they are unclear if or what they are able to comment on!

                    Try emailing the councilors, some of them are quite up front about where they stand!

                  • lprent

                    Depends if that referred to the workplace or the employer. Since it is usually the employer it becomes meaningless because PoT has few employees. Their contact labour suppliers have them..

                    Feels like the usual cherry picked statistic by a dumbarse reporter being scammed by a company PR

                  • Grumpy

                    The reason port safety is an issue is because Kelly and Parsloe made it one. Muzzy himself tried to give it legs by giving links that did not stack up.
                    The shifting of the goalposts to port safety by Kelly was probably the silliest mistake made by MUNZ so far.
                    If POAL has been acting in bad faith, then the courts will determine that.

                • grumpy

                  Possible but not likely. POAL seem to be on top of all this, that looks like an organisation who have acted on advice – good advice.

                  I am sure, as a lawyer, you recognise that………

      • Grumpy 1.2.2

        Dunno, the court may well look beyond MUNZ and into the situation of the workers. The court, while not wanting a bar of MUNZ may offer the workers a lifeline.

        • Mark 1.2.2.1

          I have no doubt that POAL will be happy to have most of the workers back.. by all accounts a good, honest, hardworking bunch who are happy with their conditions.. and I am all for them, and their families.
          I have stated all along, that they have been let down by MUNZ, and the MUNZ working elite, who look very much like the Brown Shirts of  Germany, WW2. 

          • Pascal's bookie 1.2.2.1.1

            Sounds like a fascinating and well thought out comparison Mark. I wish you’d expanded on it rather than just letting it sit there, looking all ugly.

            We’ll just leave aside the fact that the Brown Shirts were pretty much done and dusted well before WW2 kicked off, and explore the comparison.

            The Brown Shirts were a paramilitary group, primarily used for showing force, and ‘protecting’ Naz1 meetings, rallies and marches from their enemies; those enemies being, for the most part, social democrats and commun1sts.

            So how are MUNZ elites like that? Be as precise as you like, and if you have any actual info about beatings and the like, I suggest you do your civic duty and take said info to the police mate.

            Otherwise you just look like a bellend.

  2. aj 2

    Do POT dispute the body count?

    • Grumpy 2.1

      I think they dispute the body count being attributed as “their” body count.
      Seems they may be right as Kelly has been silent on the issue for some time. It was a silly thing for her to say and I think she regrets it.

  3. Mark 3

    This is as much as I could find about tragic deaths at POT, and I don’t know how factual it is.. someone else may have different information. If this is true it is another example of misinformation damaging to MUNZ position, and ultimately the Wharfies. No industrial accidents are acceptable, and they are all bloody tragic, and I’ve seen a couple.

    “About 10 years ago a man was killed on POT Sulphur Point Wharf when he was struck and crushed by a hoist with a container on. Both people involved were NZL staff and were not part of Port of Tauranga’s own container terminal operations.The second death which happened in the last couple of years was a very experienced stevedore who was struck by a hoist carrying breakbulk cargo on Mount Maunganui wharf – not at the Port’s container terminal at Sulphur Point. The investigation into this death concluded that all safety measures had been taken by all concerned. It was a terrible and tragic circumstance of someone being in the wrong place at the wrong time.And the most recent death last year, was a Fulton Hogan worker who was struck and crushed by a Fulton Hogan machine whilst doing work at the port. This man was not a port employee doing stevedoring or straddle driving, and neither MUNZ nor Helen Kelly got involved in the incident”
     

    • muzza 3.1

      http://www.bayofplentytimes.co.nz/news/one-dead-after-port-tauranga-accident/1068220/

      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10787221

      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10745333

      As per my links further up – You are simply too stupid for words, this was a 2 minute google search to find the POT deaths in the last few years…

      You have nothing to do with PoAL, you have not been involved, nor involved yourself. You do not understand employment law, nor the directives which govern the expectations of the PoAL, as instructed by the AKL Coucil via via official artifacts!

      I would advise nobody here waste their time further on you, because we all let ourselves down in doing so!

      • Mark 3.1.1

        Ok, I stand mainly corrected, which I was happy to be.
        Hardly surprising that you don’t wish to waste your time on differing opinions, or where information differs from your understanding or mind set.. I had thought The Standard was a place for debate and reason..   

        • Grumpy 3.1.1.1

          Don’t be so easily intimidated. He didn’t even read or understand his own links.

          If they had been what he claimed, then he had a good point but all he has done is blow his own credibility, like Kelly.

          • Puddleglum 3.1.1.1.1

            Hi Grumpy (I see you’re capitalised now :)),

            I read the links and I’d make two points.

            First, my understanding is that the owner of a workplace is liable for the health and safety of all people who enter it.

            If I’m correct, that means that the people working for contractors are the responsibility of POT.

            The fact that POT have contracted out a good deal of work on the Port site does not mean they’ve contracted out their responsibilities. I don’t know how ACC categorise claims (by employer?), but I think the Department of Labour would be interested in accidents at the Port in relation to the owner of the workplace.

            Second, the following creates a disturbing – but quite believable picture – of what the root cause of accidents may be:

            The worker said although there were health and safety procedures in place, short cuts were often taken because it was not possible to stick to safety rules and load ships in time.
            a”It makes it quite a dangerous place to work. I’m not saying the bosses are horrible but they are squeezing us. Because you are casual you are forced to take what shifts you can …


            “You are continuously under pressure to get the ship loaded and out as soon as possible. Because the industry is so competitive, you have companies competing for contracts and that all comes down to time.

            It seems that the nature of the operations at POT – high level of contracted work, high level of casualisation – makes for difficulties in coordinating the operations of such a disparately organised work site. On top of this unwieldy, fragmented management problem there appears to be a real focus on doing things fast – i.e., to produce the kinds of ‘productivity’ that the Port boasts about.

            This is a classic environment for breeding workplace accidents and it would be a miracle (i.e., no credit to management) if there were a low level of accidents.

            Frankly, it defies belief since there would remain absolutely no explanation (in terms of explicit procedures as opposed to noble rhetoric from management) for how such low rates of accident were possible under conditions so inhospitable to safety. 

            • RedLogix 3.1.1.1.1.1

              Or more plausibly… that the PoT workers are too scared to properly report the minor accidents and near-misses they are having.

              • Yes, that was also in one of the links muzza provided (and I think rosy provided details on that point above – 1.1.1.2).

                I tried to capture that point, indirectly, through reference to casualisation – I should have made it more explicit.

                Thanks. 

                • Grumpy

                  Which of the accidents happened on sites controlled by PoT?

                  I understand the answer is – none!

                  • I’m only going on what I read

                    From the first link:

                    “.The name of the 49-year-old father killed at the Port of Tauranga on Monday has been released by police.” 

                    From the second link”

                    The Department of Labour said there were five serious harm incidents at the port in 2011. This includes the death of Fulton Hogan worker Walter Crosa, who was hit by a grader while tarsealing in August.

                    From the third link:

                    Police were called to the Port of Tauranga about midday, and the 49-year-old man was pronounced dead,

                    I’m just someone who reads the news and the impression from these articles is that the accidents occured ‘at the Port’.

                    Is there other information? 
                     

            • Grumpy 3.1.1.1.1.2

              Bloody iPad, they always start off with a capital…….

              Nice dig though, but you know what they say about puns 🙂

              • To be honest, I only noticed the pun after I posted it – I guess the best kind …

                I just noticed the capital ‘G’ and got curious (BTW, I appreciate your comments here). 

        • locus 3.1.1.2

          That would explain the quality of debate, reason and mind-set in your comment 3.1.3

      • bbfloyd 3.1.2

        thank you muzza…. that last sentence was the only one really necessary to use when dealing with unwell people like mark, burt, etc…..but i commend the patience of those that did waste their time on this one…. i picked up a lot of useful info reading the rebuttals….

        • muzza 3.1.2.1

          The point is BB, that there has been many of these topics posted in the standard over the months, and Mrk etc have been party to many of them, so they know the debtates key points…feigning ignorance is just silly…

          Trolls like to take the PoAL/POT issue away from its core, with talks about safety etc, which are little if nothing to do with the real issues, which I will list again just in case they were missed

          ACIL,PBE, SOI, ROE, Legal Contracts, Employment Law, and possibly something I have missed!

          I think that is most of the key talking points. Others are simply red herrings and diversion!

          • tsmithfield 3.1.2.1.1

            The problem with that line of argument, muzza, is that I think you will find that the issues about relative safety were raised in the first instance by the union through the likes of Helen Kelly. So, why shouldn’t these points be up for discussion? Or would you be accusing Helen Kelly and the union of putting forward red hearings and diversion?

            Let me ask you and MS if you would agree with the following statement:

            The statistical evidence from ACC suggests that POT is a safe employer relative to many other ports.

            • mickysavage 3.1.2.1.1.1

              I don’t have the foggiest idea what the graph is measuring ts.  This should be clarified before any conclusions are drawn.

      • Mark 3.1.3

        Jesus Muzza, you are sounding like a bully.. take a chill pill and engage in what is a serious debate with serious consequences..
        But to respond to a few of your fantasies…
        I have worked in many Ports, including Auk, Tga, Freemantle, Melbourne – not as a Wharfie, but as a ‘working man” and I have seen what goes on, from all sorts of people (and the old twistlock throwing is pretty standard, unsafe Union bullytactics)
        I have also spent many years as an employer, and have  had to sack a few  lazy cunts (reluctantly because I had tried to give them a chance , happily because they were endangering the livelihoods of their co-workers, me, and a bunch of families)
        I have also as a Site Manager or Supervisor sacked a few lazy cunts, and never had any Employment Court isues with them or the above employees suggests to me that I know what I’m talking about.
        The directives of Council to POAL are very transparent, and I am  familiar with them.
        I have worked  blue collar, white collar,  interspersed.. Hourly rate, salary, contract..
        I have hired ex and current POAL Forklift drivers who were so sick of the MUNZ bullshit and bullies they happily took a pay cut to get out.. and I am sure these guys will be lining up for the new jobs down there, good on them.
        It is highly likely I will be entering the Port in the next couple of weeks to contract on Engineering & Project matters .. I am hoping the picket is still on so I can face up to the bully boys.. maybe we can meet?
        So that’s my story Muzza, what’s yours?
        Put up, or shut up and fuck off yourself. 
         

  4. muzza 4

    Any particular reason my comments are in modertion today chaps?

    Edit – I see they have just ben released, thanks

    [Sorry, I realise it’s frustrating when a conversation is humming along not to be able to get a timely responses in, but the mods have lives as well. I always check them ASAP …RL]

    [lprent: the most common reason these days for a batch to stop is because akismet’s server is having issues. It throws comments into moderation and keeps trying for a while. But the hassle of auto moderation is a lot less than the hassle of being drowned out by spam. ]

  5. ianmac 5

    If POA gets punished at the Employment Court, what’s the bet that the Government cancels the Employment Court?

    • Kotahi Tane Huna 5.1

      “We may need to look at changing the law…”

      • Mark 5.1.1

        Oh, you mean like the Electoral Finance Act in 2005(?)

        • Kotahi Tane Huna 5.1.1.1

          Oh you mean that since Labour did it too it’s ok by you?

          • Mark 5.1.1.1.1

            No, but it’s obviously ok by you

            • Kotahi Tane Huna 5.1.1.1.1.1

              I supported the part of the EFA that made it more difficult for the National Party to sell government policy to the highest bidder, but I would have gone further to make donations to political parties illegal, and replace them with a central funding body to which democratically minded citizens could donate.

  6. John72 6

    Muzza, your comments are very interesting. They reflect the thoughts of someone who is very unhappy. Why?
    Can you express yourself clearly and precisley without indulging in a tirade of personal abuse. (name calling ?). You do not seem to be able to support any of your accusations with FACTS. A few facts or references would enhance your comments tremendously and put you head and shoulders above your peers.

    • muzza 6.1

      J72 – The articles on The Standard, about the PoAL , which have been many, seem to attract the same commentators looking spread nonsense around, and to be honest I should really not bother responding, because I have posted the relevant links to the documents which the council create, and which govern the expected performance of the PoAL many times, just trawl back through the archives and you will find the facts you feel I am missing. Your use of the word tirade is also out of context, along with your query for more facts from me!

      When it comes to people jobs, and their livlihoods, I think that it would be a prudent option for people, especially those who have not bothered to try find out what is actually going on, to sit on the fence and not pass an uninformed opinion. The incomces, and working conditions of workers who have legal contracts is a very private matter, which the PoAL management, have made sure became a very public one, obviously to sway public opinion of the ignorant, against the workers/munz. This sort of tactic I find is distasteful, but has been effective, just see the continuing remarks in various online forums about the overpaid underworked warfies….What business is it of anyones to take a position against the income/conditions or another person!
      Why I take a position is becuse there needs to be some counter flow of information by people who have been involved, and have taken the time to understand and be informed of the core issues. reading the governing documents, talking to warfies, the union, the councilors etc, all help to better understand where the core issues lie, and at which time relevant responses can be made to those who, are too lazy to think critically for themselves!
      Commenting on such serious matters from ignorance, is really not the way to go.

      • John72 6.1.1

        Thank you. Once again you have shown that you can not address the subject. You are still stooping to person critisim. Do you understand? It involves a thing called respect for people. There is a bit of good in every one even thee and I.

        • muzza 6.1.1.1

          Thank you for not bothering to search the archives to examine the links to facts, references and direct communications which myself and many others have posted, and have addressed multiple times on this very same topic.
          Thank you for your lack of comprehension skills, and subtle abuse, both in the post above, and one further down. Regardless of who they are aimed at, they contradict entirely your rhetoric about respect, which can easily be viewed as hypocritical, but thats for a higher power to decide isn’t it John72!

          Most of all thank you for the giggle, which is well received on this day of rest!

          Shalom

          • John72 6.1.1.1.1

            muzza, once again you stoop to personal abuse. This raises the question, do you understand what I am talking about when I refer to “respect for other people”?
            Would you like me to describe the concept in more detail. I do not want to waste your time and mine
            Mathew 7:6

            [lprent: Read the policy and especially about “robust debate” and “pointless abuse”. You are wrong and don’t try to try tell others how they should act on our site. We set the behavioural limits. You don’t. ]

  7. Tiger Mountain 7

    International solidarity is not requested lightly by workers organisations, and takes some time to implement but the overinflated hubris of several chief POAL blowhards is likely to more resemble a flat tyre quite soon.

    Whatever the outcome of this little debacle the undemocratic reality of the corporatist model for running citizens and city affairs has been well exposed.

    • Kotahi Tane Huna 7.1

      Yes, Rodney Hide’s long, long list of failures just got a little bit longer.

  8. The Stepper 8

    I think people are jumping to conclusions here. The Port has agreed to postpone, not cancel, their plans until a settlement conference has been held on Monday.

    Forgive me if I’m wrong, but my reading says the Court hasn’t stopped anything, nor has the Port agreed to can the redundancies (haven’t had the benefit of reading the actual judgement as yet). The case might be potentially resolved, but is far from over, and there is nothing to indicate that it has been resolved in MUNZ’s favour (though likely, granted).

    Highly unlikely in either case that the Court would order a retraction of the redundancy. A deficiency in the process does not mean that the reason for the process is invalid, and often the Employment Court will allow a course of action to proceed with a corrected process.

    On another note, Denise Roche’s comments are irritating in the extreme and inappropriate to boot. She states (as quoted on Stuff) “The legal action shows the workers clearly have a case”. Since when does suing someone prove you have a case? I think everyone hopes for a rational solution to the issue, and the rest of her statement makes sense, but that comment is unhelpful, and borders on ignorant.

    • McFlock 8.1

      PoAL blinked.
        
      It’s a start.

      • The Stepper 8.1.1

        I don’t accept that. Standing down, for two working days, until a settlement conference – the origin and outcome of which is completely unknown – is hardly “blinking”. Your statement is a wonderful example of precisely the sort of adversarial, antagonistic dick-swinging that led to this situation in the first place.

        If a solution is to be found, both sides will need to give ground, while saving face. Room needs to be given to each to do so. There is 0 chance that MUNZ will exit this situation with their ideal result (the actual ideal result being already compromised – now reduced to making the best of a bad situation). Equally, there is 0 chance that POAL will get their ideal outcome.

        End result: MUNZ will accept a reduction in conditions (naturally packaged in a way that can be sold to members), while POAL gives more than they (have stated they) intended to. That scenario supposes that MUNZ or POAL don’t try to stare down the entire thing. That way MUNZ will lose all 292 jobs, and POAL will eventually close.

        • fender 8.1.1.1

          The “antagonistic dick-swinging that led to this situation in the first place” was actually a report on ports throughout the country done by Steven fucking Joyce last year. That is where POAL got their inspiration from. His report suggested ports impliment the things POAL are trying.

          • The Stepper 8.1.1.1.1

            fender – I’m interested in this report. It’s the first I’ve heard of it (though admittedly I’m not hugely widely read on this). You have a link? MED or NZTA?

            P.S. *implement 😉

            • fender 8.1.1.1.1.1

              It was mentioned on Media7 on channel 7 the other night. They replay the show I’m sure it can be caught again.

            • Tiger Mountain 8.1.1.1.1.2

              It’s one step up and two steps back for you pal. (Stepper)

              The legal document aka “minute” is easily accessible on line. If you don’t support the wharfies give the keyboard a rest, there is work to be done here not pontificating.

              • The Stepper

                Unless I’ve failed to find the appropriate document (entirely possible), the Court has ruled that an application by POAL for an injunction against the strike has been declined. A hearing is set for the 26th. A settlement conference is scheduled for Monday. I haven’t seen the report that Joyce produced so am in no position to comment on that.

                Where do I say that I’m not for the wharfies? You’re close to “if you’re not for us you’re against us”. What’s wrong with to (gulp) paraphrase Denise Roche and call for cooler heads to prevail? All I’m trying to say is that an incredibly hard line approach, as demonstrated thus far by both parties, is going to end up with everyone losing.

                As for my prediction, naturally only time will tell but I strongly suspect that it will prove to be accurate.

                • Hi The Stepper,

                  My concern about the idea that each side need to give way (in any political or industrial dispute) is that, if accepted, it actually becomes an incentive to those with power to provoke disputes – since they will always ‘win’ a little bit more of what they want each time.

                  There surely is a point at which ‘appeasement’ is not the best response to such provocative ‘aggression’?

                  I’m speaking generally here, but that’s because I can see that there has been a trend over the past thirty years, in New Zealand and elsewhere, of undermining work conditions, and the control that workers have over those conditions, through just such incrementalist (sometimes quite big increments) provocation.

                  When does the cumulative effect of this process get to the point that the next provocation needs to be resisted in its entirety? Or is there never such a point?

                  • Grumpy

                    The standard of debate certainly picks up when you take an interest puddles……….

            • fender 8.1.1.1.1.3

              Media7 did an excellent piece on the dispute, and it replays tomorrow night (sunday) at 10:05

        • McFlock 8.1.1.2

          Everything PoAL have done to date has conformed to an approach of arrogant invulnerability.
             
          Holdng off on redundancies might be a tease when they believe they’re certain they’ll win the case, but even then it’s a recognition that appearances affect their chances of achieving their objectives, rather than dissembling, dodgy math and tablet-sized adverts from the mount being used as chicken feed for the supplicant masses.

          • The Stepper 8.1.1.2.1

            I don’t disagree with you McFlock, but as per above comments to Tiger Mountain the attitudes displayed by both sides have been fundamentally counter-productive. They seem to have both lost sight of the value of being seen in the eyes of the public to be the reasonable party. Hard lines will do well in reinforcing the views of your own supporters, but will do little to persuade anyone else.

            They’re holding off on redundancies (until Monday) to try and show the Court that they’re acting in good faith (and, as you say, to recognise that appearances affect their chances). Judge Travis is unlikely to be swayed by that – he’s pretty canny – but he has to give the parties an opportunity to resolve their differences. What I find interesting is the mention of a “settlement conference”. That implies that a settlement will (or has) been reached. Not sure on which issue a settlement has been reached however.

  9. Jenny 9

    Hi Anthony, the international support is a factor, but it is not the only factor.

    The Massive solidarity march last Saturday and the open support of the leaders of New Zealand’s biggest political party and probable next government, are two factors that will also have rocked the employers and shaken their resolve.

    The concerted right wing (and centre left) campaign to isolate the wharfies seems to have failed miserably.

    That the employers have taken fright at this show of mass public and institutional support can be seen by the following press release.

    The Employers and Manufacturers Association say business is “becoming increasingly alarmed at the political intervention in the Ports of Auckland dispute”

  10. John72 10

    The Stepper, thankyou. It is pleasant to read someone corteous and logical. There would not have been a dispute if more people like you had spoken up at the begining. So few comentators are prepared to say “I am open to correction”. So few have facts and references.
    Best Wishes.

  11. Tiger Mountain 11

    …and so few have their Aunties appear to say nice things about them–“It is pleasant to read someone corteous and logical.”-after the nasty regulars had their way with Stepper.

  12. John72 12

    Tiger Mountain. I do not understand what you are trying to say. Would you like to be more explicit.
    This week’s reading is Mathew 7:1-3

  13. John72 13

    Gentlemen, please accept my apologies. I have just found some older comments you have made and was surprised at the knowledge and information in some of them. Some people have done their homework.
    Does Auckland exist because the port is there , or does the port exist because Auckland is there?
    It seems that some people have lost sight of what this is all about.
    The port is providing a service to the people of Auckland (and NZ). Does it have to make a profit?
    So many of you realise that the port was never intended to be a private enterprise. Why now? Is the accountant having too much say in what the public needs or gets?
    The Council is just a servant to the community. Many members have become self-important.
    I apologise.

  14. Jenny 14

    Anthony I would go even further, to say, that international support was not even the main factor:

    From stuff.co.nz

    Thousands of people marched from Auckland’s waterfront in support of port workers on March 10. Prime Minister John Key waded into the dispute that day, saying he expected most of the port workers would be re-employed by the port as part of a casualised workforce.

    While the overseas support is important, it can only always be a an auxiliary, to the main struggle going on here.

    In 1951 the wharfies had massive international support, support that dwarfs anything seen today, yet still lost.

  15. Jester 15

    Perhaps people need to find out what a “Judicial settlement conference” is before they claim a victory.

  16. John72 16

    Yesterday, lprent advised me that one or more of my comments were offensive and offered me a “warning”. He implied that he was acting with the authority of a Moderator or Sysop, as refered to in the Rules, paragraph 2 and 3.
    I asked which remark was offensive and why? The entire subject, comments and all, appears to have been removed from this website, or am I looking in the wrong place?
    Actions speak louder than words.

  17. fender 17

    Great to hear POAL have backed down on their bullshit tactics, apparently the boys are going back to work and negotiations will start again. Great news!!!

    • fender 17.1

      oh hang on, POAL have not backed down on their contracting out plans. Seems they just want to use the boys for a month to fix what is no doubt a shambles at the port at present.

  18. John72 18

    “Life’s but a walking shadow – a poor player., that struts his hour upon the stage, and then is heard no more. It is a tale told by idiot, full of sound and fury, saying nothing. ” (Shakespeare)

    My memory seems to be failing. 5 months ago, what was this dispute about?

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