During an Employment Court hearing today, the parties agreed that the union's arguments regarding lockouts would be adjourned until 11:00am on Friday 30 March. This was after the union accepted the company's offer, which it had made in good faith, to pay MUNZ employees who lifted their strike notice and who are available for work this week. This agreement is in place until the court's hearing on Friday.
The injunctions regarding the alleged lockouts will be dealt with by the court on Friday, at which time the court will address the evidence that Ports of Auckland and the union have provided regarding the health and safety concerns held by the company.
Ports of Auckland consented in court today to orders being made which reflected its earlier undertakings in relation to not progressing its decision to contract out until the Employment Court is able to consider the Union's claim. That will now take place at a hearing commencing 16 May.
In relation to the current health and safety issue, the company has been very clear that it has health and safety obligations to all its staff. It has stressed to the court again today, and will certainly do so again on Friday, that it takes such concerns very seriously.
Last week Ports of Auckland issued an indefinite lockout notice to all MUNZ members covered by the collective bargaining. The union claim in relation to this lockout notice is also to be heard this Friday. During the time of the lockout Ports of Auckland will make every effort to negotiate a collective agreement with MUNZ.
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