Hosking on Wharfies

Mike Hosking lets rip at the wharfies and their greedy, lazy union:

In a way, you can’t blame the wharfies for putting up the fight they are at the Ports of Auckland. I mean if you were being paid to do nothing, you would be looking to hang on to the deal, wouldn’t you?

Eight hours pay, three hours work – good on them for getting the deal. God only knows who was thick enough to sign it off, but the game’s up. The port is lacklustre. it’s losing business and money to other ports. Its reputation isn’t flash and at long last they’re looking to get things tidied up.

The wharfies have lost. They don’t have the support of the company, of the council which owns them, they certainly don’t have the support of the Auckland ratepayers who are watching a company they own get destroyed, and they don’t have the support of the wider public. Through all the bluster and hot air and jibes at management pulled directly out of Arthur Scargill’s handbook on how to run a class ridden industrial dispute, they have been seen for what they are – a fiefdom on a deal from another age refusing to be realistic.

Even Len Brown doesn’t back them. The man who took their money to get elected sees it for what it is. He should have been playing a far greater role before it ever got to the state it’s in. Ports of Auckland is a major company with a major contribution to the economy of the biggest city in the country and it’s operating in a time warp. Business is leaving – Maersk has walked, Fonterra’s gone.

Where’s the council? The owners? The representatives of all the rate payers who have a stake in the business? The dividends are a joke compared to Tauranga. Do they think the port is a welfare scheme? A jobs programme? Why aren’t they demanding better performance and better returns? The answer is there – lay them off. Too many strikes, too many lock outs, too much disruption. Get rid of them and find some people that actually want to do the job.

No one operates under deals like the wharfies anymore and the fact it’s still causing trouble in 2012 is not only an indictment on the union’s selfishness and greed, but the management and council’s inability to operate a modern business in a way its shareholders would expect.

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.