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Auckland Local Board Members oppose privatisation at Ports

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

In an unprecedented move, 28 Auckland Local Board members from 10 different Boards are uniting to call for Ports of Auckland to return to good faith bargaining and drop plans to outsource jobs at the port.

"Ports of Auckland Ltd is a Council-owned company. We support its operational independence, but the current dispute has escalated to a strategic level. We are particularly concerned that actions being taken by Port management, including what appears to be a pre-determined strategy to contract out port jobs, are inflaming matters", say the Board members.

Internal POAL strategy documents released last week show that Ports management was considering a contracting out strategy well in advance of negotiations. <a href="http://www.munz.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/poal_labour_strategy.pdf">http://www.munz.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/poal_labour_strategy.pdf</a>

"Along with everyone else involved, we recognise the need for competitive levels of operational efficiency at the port. But Port management's proposal to fire a skilled workforce and contract out their jobs to an external provider, with few work-life balance protections for employees and their families, is not the best way to achieve this."

"We believe that Ports of Auckland has a responsibility to be a good employer, and to live up to the principles that its 100% owner the Auckland Council promotes in the draft Auckland Plan and in numerous Local Board Plans. Driving Aucklanders' employment conditions and job security down in a race to the bottom is no way to build the world's most liveable city."

"We're also concerned that the dispute is being used as a wedge by some councillors and interest groups to promote port privatisation. We support Mayor Len Brown's unequivocal pro-public ownership platform, and believe the Port CEO would be well advised to publicly support it too."

"The details of any settlement are for the parties to negotiate, but it is quite clear to us that a way forward should be possible that improves productivity without privatisation and contracting out being threatened, neither of which are proven cures. We hope that Port management and the Maritime Union will take a constructive approach and negotiate a settlement in good faith on this basis", conclude the Board members.

Full list of Local Board Members issuing this statement:

* Please note that each Board member issuing this statement does so in their own right only, and not on behalf of their Board.

Helga Arlington, Albert-Eden

Josephine Bartley, Maungakiekie-Tamaki

Leila Boyle, Maungakiekie-Tamak (Chair)

Jesse Chalmbers, Waitemata

Shale Chambers, Waitemata (Chair)

Pippa Coom, Waitemata

Christopher Dempsey, Waitemata

Graeme Easte, Albert-Eden

Carrol Elliot, Mangere-Otahuhu

Tunumafono Ava Fa'amoe, Otara-Papatoetoe

Julie Fairey, Puketapapa

Catherine Farmer, Whau

Grant Gillon, Kaipataki

John Gillon, Kaipataki

Mary Gush, Otara-Papatoetoe

Peter Haynes, Albert-Eden (Chair)

Neil Henderson, Waitakere Ranges

Richard Hills, Kaipataki

Chris Makoare, Maungakiekie-Tamaki

Greg Presland, Waitakere Ranges

Simon Randall, Maungakiekie-Tamaki

Tricia Reade, Waitemata

Denise Roche, Waiheke

Leau Peter Skelton, Mangere-Otahuhu (Chair)

Lydia Sosene, Mangere-Otahuhu

Alan Verrall, Maungakiekie-Tamaki

Michael Wood, Puketapapa

Denise Yates, Waitakere Ranges (Chair)

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