Ports Crisis – Mythbusting, Casualisation

I see that Matt McCarten managed to pop down to have a chat with Gary Parsloe and so was able to put the union spin into his column in the Herald on Sunday.

The union constantly goes on about how they don’t want a pay rise, in fact they are now asking for a $10,000 pay decrease just so long as they can stop casualisation. Bizarre, but Gary Parsloe said it in National Radio the other day and now Matt mcCarten has repeated it.

They offered not take any increase. In fact, they’d cut their annual wage by $10,000 as well as extend their working week from 26 hours a week to 40 for no extra pay.

But let’s look at their claims of casualisation…frankly speaking it is bullshit…their claims that is.

They moan about being dragged out of bed at all hours and not being able to plan their family life. But the reality is we are talking about a Port here.

That means that the work is programmed well in advance. You see fully laden container ships don;t just miraculously appear on the horizon needing thousands of containers unloaded with a couple of hours notice. Ships arrive and leave according to schedule. The schedule is so well publicised that cargo manifests are broadcast to customers via cellphone and websites. The rosters for POAL are set 6 weeks in advance so there certainly isn’t the 3am cellphone call to action that these chumps are whinging about. They know when they are on call weeks in advance to cover illnesses and injuries, they are simply being stroppy unions thugs.

Businesses know exactly where their containers are and a great many of them are really annoyed that their stock is sitting on Auckland’s wharf while overpaid gorrillas moan about “casualisation”.

One importer of important equipment and consumables isn’t a huge importer, but at 10 containers a week is now seriously looking at moving his business to Tauranga to get certainty of delivery for his customers. It doesn’t take long for more customers of POAL to start doing the same and trickle becomes a torrent. But businesses like his are sick of seeing the GPS location of their paid for supplies sitting stagnant on Auckland’s wharf.

The union claims about casualisation are emotive waffle words designed to confuse the hoi polloi. It is rubbish. So while they ensure the silence of their political masters through donations the union calls on their union mates with newspaper columns to continue to spin their lines. The Ports of Auckland needs to get smarter with their PR and media strategy, the need  t0 play hardball like the Union is. Right now they are slowly losing the PR battle by letting the union talk around the main issue that Ports of Auckland’s labour costs are 5 times that of Ports of Tauranga and their productivity is compared with their competitor is woeful. Acceding to union demands will entrench those failings and continue to bleed business to competitor ports.

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