Auckland back in talks, but April 6 lockout looms after fuzzy court ruling

2012 03 28

THE Ports of Auckland (PoA) has stopped sacking its dockers, and will re-start labour talks with its union, but will still lock out its 300 unionised dockers from April 6 after an Employment Court ruling resolved little.

The court ruled that the sacking of the dockers was a separate issue from the lock out after a week of recruiting 57 staff to replace the sacked regular dockers. The contract workers will remain in place during the lockout.

Maritime Union of New Zealand (MUNZ) president Garry Parsloe said his members were entitled to an immediate return to work "with all collective employment agreement obligations being met", reported the New Zealand Herald.

London-based International Transport Federation, which represents transport labour at the United Nations, condemned the lockout as "unbelievable, unlawful and practically suicidal" which prevents the regular dockers entering the port area.

ITF president Paddy Crumlin said of the collective bargaining: "This really is a victory for common sense, and a ringing endorsement of MUNZs decision to resist the port company's plans and challenge them in law."

"If the company can genuinely match that willingness - and prove that they are committed to a negotiated solution - then an end to this dispute and the damage it has done to the port's reputation could be within reach," Mr Crumlin said.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

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