An email to the union

via the tipline

This email came in on the tipline last night, it is from a business owner to the Maritime Union.

From: Shayne McNamara
Sent: Friday, 17 February 2012 12:44 p.m.
To: Joe Fleetwood
Cc: Garry Parsloe; Carl Findlay;
Subject: Continued Strike Action at Ports of Auckland

Dear Sirs,

Our group of companies are primarily importers into New Zealand.  We were predominantly importing into Auckland.  Granted we are not a large importer and probably only have 3-4 shipments a month arriving but I imagine many similar sized companies such as ours will be suffering the same frustrations and be considering similar action.  Up until now your continued,  and in my opinion unreasonable strike action programme has been a mild irritant.

Given your latest two strike action notices served this now has impact on our business and in fairness to our own employees and stakeholders we are forced to seriously look at moving all our shipping into Tauranga.  Given we are Hamilton based for distribution the costs were similar from Auckland or Tauranga.

Forgetting the major companies that have withdrawn their business from POAL in favour of Tauranga due to MUNZ actions, I imagine that like our companies, there is probably a raft of small to medium sized businesses that have made, or will likely make a similar decision.  I realise that this may serve your unions purposes in financially hurting POAL but I am struggling to understand how this can possibly be of long-term benefit to your members so I was hoping you could explain this to me.  I am a simple soul so would appreciate a simple rather than a “political” answer.  It is a relatively simple question

Given that the continued strike action by the Maritime Union of NZ is causing a large number of companies to move away from POAL, and given that any business with major reductions in business are likely to rationalise and make cuts in their highest expense (staff), how can this possibly benefit your members?

Assuming that this dispute is resolved and the rather archaic strike action ceases and the Ports get back to normal service, what long terms damage to POAL and your own members do you think your Union has done?  I can’t believe for one moment that POAL will be able to continue to afford the existing wage bill given a large reduction in income so it seems very logical that workers will either be laid off or get less hours.  How does this benefit them?

While I have heard via the media much of both sides of the argument and I am sympathetic to some elements of your case I do not believe that continued strike action will achieve the best outcome for your members.  Certainly it is not in the best interests of our company and our own employees so rather than risk the safety of their employment we have little option but to support the more labour stable, Ports of Tauranga.  A port that I think is run more efficiently under their labour structure anyway – oh yes – and why do you think that might be?

Kind Regards



Shayne McNamara- Director
Corelli Holdings Ltd

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