The latest strike notice by the Maritime Union of New Zealand – Local 13 is “highly irresponsible,” says Ports of Auckland CEO Tony Gibson.
The port company confirmed today that it had received a sixth strike notice from the union, for a 24 hour strike starting 7 am Tuesday 31 January to 7am Wednesday 1 February.
“This sixth strike will do nothing to end the dispute other than to strengthen our resolve to sort this out once and for all,” Mr Gibson said.
Mr Gibson said the company would be going the extra mile during this strike to maintain port operations using non-union staff, and would be proceeding with consultation over its proposal to contract out labour.
Much of the port remained operational during the Christmas and New Year strikes, and the company was improving its ability to handle cargo and minimise the impact on customers each time, Mr Gibson said.
“We will also continue to work with customers, other ports and the road transport industry to help minimise the impact of any stoppages.”
Mr Gibson said he had spent over 100 hours in mediation with the union and that it was time to move forward.
“We recognise and apologise for the serious impacts that the ongoing union disruption is having for customers, transport operators, and consumers,” he said.
“Our management team and Board have a duty to apply a commercial approach and to act in the best interests of Aucklanders, now and over the longer term.”
“We will continue to proceed with consultation over our contracting out proposal.”
Requests for Proposals to prospective contractors were issued last week.
Third party contractors already operate the conventional (non-container terminal) port facilities in Auckland. These and other services, including the on-dock empty container depot, multi-cargo wharves (Jellicoe, Freyberg, Captain Cook, Marsden), cruise business, vehicle import trade, marine services, Onehunga seaport, Wiri Inland Port and Seafuels barge Awanuia, will remain open for business.
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