United Nations' voice of transport labour backs 300 fired Auckland dockers

2012 03 14

NEW ZEALAND's Ports of Auckland's [PoA] sacking its 300 dockers and contracting private stevedores to replace them has sparked protests from the International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF) which sits on United Nations councils as the global voice of transport labour.

The London-based ITF is a global transport union federation representing labour at the UN's International Labour Organisation (ILO), the UN's International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and the UN's International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).

"There's huge international support," said Ray Familathe, visiting Los Angeles delegate and vice president of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, reports London's Containerisation International.

"But this has gone beyond reason. Management seems to be on a destructive path here, which just seems to have no common sense about achieving some balance in the collective agreement between management and labour," said Mr Familathe.

Other unions in the New Zealand capital Wellington have refused to handle cargo from a Maersk Line ship that unloaded containers in Auckland last week with replacement non-union dockers.

Many expect a court injunction to force the Maritime Union of New Zealand's [MUNZ] members to work the ship as the strike moves into its fourth week.

Meanwhile, the Ports of Auckland has called in the police to protect staff and visitors to the port from alleged harassment by striking dockers on picket lines.

Ports of Auckland recently signed a deal with two independent stevedoring companies to replace the striking dockers. "These are partnerships that will contribute to innovation and the development of Ports of Auckland as a customer focussed, aspirational port, which delivers for Auckland," said port CEO Tony Gibson, according to New Zealand's Voxy News.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

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