The Maritime Union has again been shellacked by the ERA. Remember when I blogged about Carl Findlay and his dodgy activities? Well the union sought to have his case used to slow down the negotiations toward a new contract on the wharves and the Emplyment Relations Authority has slammed them for it:
A second Employment Relations Authority ruling in as many weeks has gone Ports of Auckland’s way, with the authority ruling the port company was justified in giving a staff member a final warning.
It follows a decision earlier this month that the removal of two foreman’s roles at the port would not undermine current contract negotiations with wharfies or result in unsafe work practices, as the Maritime Union of New Zealand had claimed.
In the latest decision, the ERA said Ports of Auckland was within its rights to give stevedore Carl Findlay a final written warning for removing a letter from a manager’s office.
Findlay used a ruler to retrieve a letter written by another stevedore, Tamati Davie, from underneath stevedoring manager Jonathan Hulme’s locked office door.
The letter was in response to an investigation Hulme was conducting into whether Davie had passed on confidential Ports of Auckland information to the Maritime Union.
Davie put the letter under Hulme’s door but decided he wanted to add to his response so asked Findlay – who is vice president of the Auckland branch of the union – to get it back.
Findlay made no attempt to contact Hulme to ask for permission to retrieve it, the ERA said. Despite being confronted by a senior staff member who saw what he did, and receiving a text from Hulme the next morning asking for the letter back, Findlay did not return it, the authority said.
His actions did not constitute serious misconduct as the port company said, but were serious enough for the port to issue a written warning. Ports of Auckland acted in a “procedurally fair manner”, the authority said.