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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  • Hehe was waiting for you to post about this Cam ;)
    Good on you – Myth-busting WO style

  • ConwayCaptain

    Box boats work to a timetable.  The ships running to Europe/Japan,ECNA/WCNA, SE Asia have their
    berthing windows booked weeks in advance and they are allowed a berthing window +/- so many hours.  Arrive outside that window and you gfo to the back of the queue.  Panama/Suez canal transits are the same you are booked for a certain time and you had better be there.  Some of these BIG ships can only do daylight transits.

    In the 1970’s I went through the Panama on the Port Chalmers, biggest reefer ship in the world at 19,000 tonnes and she coud onkly go through in daylight.  Few years later she was doing night transits as the Box Boats had arrived and they had the daylight slots.  Now those box boats ACT 1, Mairangi Bay etc are tiddlers.

    • Willsomers101

      Importers have been saying their stuff is stuck on the wharves for ever.The big boys get first dibbs. You make it sound like this’booking system ‘ means you can time things down to the minute. But the truth is  containers are  ‘stacked’ so your container is somewhere under someone elses, both on a ship and on the wharf. It could be 5 deep.

      • Gazzaw

        FFS Will stop pretending that you know anything at all about the industry.

  • Anonymous

    I have **never** seen a bunch of “workers” as lazy as these wharfies. They make the stop-go sign guy on a roading gang look like a Navy SEAL. 

    • Willsomers101

      Dragged out of bed – to sit behind a computer screen in your lounge- just like going to wharf  in rain like yesterday. The pay rate is $27 hr for the watersiders

      • Vlad

        The undisputed average wage for a MUNZ slacker is $91,000 a year.  If this bollix hrly rate is a relevant figure it means that they slave away for 71 hours every single week of the 47 they “work” (52 less their 5 week holiday). Yeah right!  The apologist knows that the hrly rate is toploaded to the hilt with extra payments, allowances and rorts.  And why do the MSM publish this nonsense without doing a few simple sums?   

      • If they don’t like it they can fuck off and get other jobs and free up the spot for people who want to work.

    • Troy

      And I wouldn’t pay too much attention to Matt McCarten and anything he writes anyhow – he’s full of bullshit the vast majority of time and is fucked up supporter of unions whether they are right or wrong – bit of a goat’s cock, but that’s McCarten – biggest drip of 2011.

  • Scanner

    And I thought union membership was no longer compulsory.

    • Catwoman

      Union membership is not compulsory. However, when I worked for a Port if you did not belong to MUNZ no-one spoke to you.  You are definitely ostracised if you do not belong to a union in this industry.

  • ConwayCaptain

    A ship on the NZ/Europe run will have her berth booked in Rotterdam for instance when she leaves the NZ Coast.  Her Panama transit will have been booked as well.  All the berths in Europe will also be booked as well.  They run like clockwork and have the power to make up time for heavy weather and delays in a terminal.

  • Anonymous

    Interesting how the Summer Report made it sound like that were going to ask Len for an opposing view and he wasn’t available, instead of asking someone who would actually have something intelligent to contribute to the conversation.

  • Scanner

    So Matt had the time to take a moment out from sorting out payment of his debt to the IRD, commendable.

  • Anonymous

    Unfortunately for these union types still stuck in the 50s they don`t understand the modern electronic era where their bullshit can be rebutted almost instantly and their own words come back to haunt them, lol  morons.

  • Anonymous

    Ports run schedules like an airport, pretty strict to say the least.

    Sheesh we can see the temp within a box on the journey to Europe to check our perishable goods.

    These numpties need to wake up, technology is dismissing all their bullshit.

    Matt M, you mate are in dream land, we are now in the year 2012, not the 40’s & 50’s, for fucks sake you die hard Pinko’s are pathetic…

  • Paulus

    You try and get a job on the Wharves in Auckland.
    Family and Mates only I am assured, so that the system does not get buggered by someboody normal.

    • Screw it, looks like the Port is broken beyond repair. Time to start over and get it right with a new port that is use efficiencies and rate of returns gained from starting over.
      And might as well get some needed redevelopment down on the Waterfront on the way out.
      Sounds like win win win – lose. The lose being for MUNZ…

    • Screw it, looks like the Port is broken beyond repair. Time to start over and get it right with a new port that is use efficiencies and rate of returns gained from starting over.
      And might as well get some needed redevelopment down on the Waterfront on the way out.
      Sounds like win win win – lose. The lose being for MUNZ…

    • Catwoman

      Unfortunately that is very true – no such thing as the best person for the job.

  • Vlad

    I even have a moment or two of nostalgia, learning that a last relic of labouring royalty still lingers in the 21st century.  Coming from a family that numbered freezing workers and wharfies in its ranks many years ago I know how it worked and how privileged they were.  But they killed the goose with witless doctrinaire politics, boneheaded stalinist leaders and greed.  These fools should shut up and keep their heads down.  They won’t, and soon they will be gone too. 

  • notavictim

    Hopefully the more this drags on the more appetite there will be to smash ALL unions. Keep it up MUNZ, you are the master class.

  • http://robertwinter.blogspot.com/2012/01/poal-suggestion-to-mr-brown.html   <<< came across my Facebook page. His calls to the Mayor seem opposite to mine which I made in which and how many posts yesterday. 

  • Lesley

    Huh? Gary Parsloe’s Maritime Union says it is not about the money and he talks about family values! He is past his “used-by” date. He doesn’t make sense at all. Think the Union are fishing “Red Herrings”.

  • Good piece, but tis easy to lose sight of the bigger picture here. New Zealand’s biggest trade issue is distance from markets. Your mate McCarten reckons it’s all about softening up the public to sell POA. This would be a disaster for NZ. Sale of the ports wouldn’t be a disaster for your bog standard mostly  land-bordered country, but NZ exporter markets are largely accessed via it’s ports. Greater public ownership of the Ports and transport subsidised to businesses, would be the logical way to go. Even if it did involve a bit of wharfie stroking. Load up those floaters with milk derivatives and bull jizz and watch the related trickle-down. Might even breathe a bit of life into  our manufacturing industries. 

  • Gazzadelsaud

    right monique, so am amateur film maker (ahem beneficiary) is now an expert on international  trade,  well done that girl.  Good to see you are also an expert on the perils of private ownership, having such experience of corporate incentives yourself of course.  those evil foreigners will probably steal the land or refuse to load ships or something evil.  So how come that Port of Tauranga, which has private owners is doing so well?  Could it possibly be that the Private sector requires a return on investment, and tends to work assets hard to generate returns in a competitive environment.  Say it aint so!
    there’s an old saying about rather keep silent and be thought a fool rather than open your mouth and remove all doubt.  I guess you just opened your mouth.  Sorry love but you are the weakest link, goodbye.