Is MUNZ on crack?

Yesterday talks between the Maritime Union and the Ports of Auckland again broke down.

It is fair to say that none of the talks have achieved much at all. The Port has attempted to make changes in their operations and labour arrangements because of commercial pressures and stern competition from the Port of Tauranga. Many changes over the years have been made in all areas except for the stevedore labour flexibility. It is now clear, mainly because the union keeps telling us that this issue has never been an issue about pay. It has always been an issue of conditions. Faced with the need for change the Union have told the country via their tame media flunkies that not only was any change unacceptable, but they wanted to remove some of the small changes that had occurred in the past five years. The Union are dinosaurs that will not change at all, and they have effectively abandoned their members in their desire to cling to the past. Like the dinosaurs they will become extinct.

Last night on  TV1 there was a union PR piece relating to the Port stoppage.

It is obvious that the union has stepped up their sweet whipserings into the ears of media and it appears they are winning on that front. Looking at last nights TV coverage it was obvious that the Union had spent some time talking to TV1, emphasising the effect that the strike was having on their member’s families.

The scene was a Ports employee, his wife and family, sat in their lounge at home. The stevedore was crying a river of fake tears explaining that they were no longer allowed to bully people, but the port was going to.

Heh…not allowed but certainly want to bully eh?

Perhaps it was a slip, but it came across as one of those “do you still beat your wife” questions, where either answer given confirmed that you either did in the past or were doing so currently. Given that the interview was not live, and that TV1 were being sympathetic to the family is was a dumb bit of editing. It was certainly dumb management by the Maritime Union.

The appalling performance of the Union in the media to date it demonstrates that someone else is now looking after their media releases and information flow. that new person is the main Hobbit hater, Helen Kelly. For some reason she is the one now speaking and emphasising the need for a collective agreement and job security.

The Union has got smarter, now the Port needs to. It does emphasis just how badly the stevedores have been let down by their Union.

The Union could have been right up front pushing for changes which benefitted the Port, and benefitted their members with a win-win all around.

Helen Kelly made some strange claims…but then again she is just putting the talking points out there knowing the media won;t ask the right questions, or more usually no questions whatsoever. She was asking for the Port to put their offer in writing. This is the same offer that was printed in all major newspapers, the same offer TV media have been talking about, the same offer put in POAL press releases and the same offer that the union themselves are talking about on radio. I don’t understand how much more “in writing” that could be.

I had to laugh at the tame academic who contended that casual employees tend to be less productive. Really? the how is it that Tauranga is so much more productive than Ports of Auckland? The Tauranga model obviously works exceptionally well. I suspect the good little academic has made a mistake of comparing casualisation with casual manual workers…the two are not compatible. A Ports environment requires skilled workers who are able to work on a casual roster not casual brain dead workers available from the local labour hire place.

The whole TVNZ piece shows though that all reasonable work related arguments have been exhausted by the Maritime Union and so they have called in Helen Kelly to turn it deeply political.

Expect now that the CTU and Labour party to exert more visible pressure in Parliament, and on to the Auckland Council.

No amount of political interference is going to do anything to restore confidence in the Port by the people who matter: the customers and the ratepayers.

Meanwhile I fully expect that the latest strike will be ignored by the Port company who will simply keep the port open and moving. At the end of the strike the union will have been shown up for being ineffective as the ships and freight are unloaded and loaded without them.

I fully expect that despite the claims of the union heavy who is upset at not being able to intimidate people that the union will do just that. They try to stop trucks and freight at the wharf entrance and they will be egged on by assorted rent a mob layabouts like Minto and Bradbury flashing peace signs while watching the union die in a ditch.

One thing for sure though is that the Maritime Union doesn’t care a fig about the families of the many thousands of people whose livelihoods depend on the Port. Those truck drivers who move the containers to and from the port, the customers whose freight sits idle, the shopkeepers who need product and the shopkeppers staff who have to sell those goods. Every time the union shuts down the port they do terrible and long lasting damage to the economy that depends on freight moving through our largest port.


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  • Mully

    I still don’t understand the logic of going on strike for a week to protect your jobs. When we got the POAL press release at work, I (actually) laughed out loud.
    Bye bye MUNZ.

    • Anonymous

      There is no logic to it. MUNZ doesn’t know how to use logic. Actually, I suspect they oppose logic.

  • Why are Tauranga workers more productive when they are casual workers?

    Well they only work when a ship is around.

  • Anonymous

    WTF – A partical strike, where they turn up to work but refuse to work on containers that contractors have worked on? Fuck off, if you want to be paid you do the work your boss asks you to do. Don’t want to do it? Hand in your notice and get another job.

    • Vij

      Absolutely correct.  Maybe Phillip should join them and apply for a job

  • c’mon..!..fact/reality-check..

    ..this is an exercise to break the union.. both break the union..and to prepare the port for sale.. the 1%..

    ..iook behind the smoke and mirrors…

    ..and it is as simple as that…

    [email protected]

    • Beenthere

      you are possibly right, I’ve heard that theory before..

    • Gazzaw

      You’re probably right Phil and that could be one of the reasons that Brown is sitting on the fence. He would dearly love to sell off 49% of POAL to a large international port owner such as Hutchinsons in order to put the down payment on his train set. No one is going to buy POAL whilst MUNZ control the labour component so the union has to go. The upcoming seven day strike will be the crunch point. A lockout, contractors signed on, Kelly & Parsloe sidelined and its goodnight nurse cos guess what the long suffering ratepayers don’t give a fuck about the overpaid wharfies..   

      •  there is of course another significant card for munz to play..

        ..namely the globalised wharfie-uniions..

        ..if they do carry on down this path..

        ..we may well face black bans on our exports.. many countries around the world..

        ..and you can bet..that with a rifgtwing govt trying to break a union..’ll be all careful of what you wish

        ..this could be a flashpoint..and it could all get quite ugly..

        [email protected]

      • Gazzaw

        Not this time Phil. Even the Aussies and the US Longshoremen are staying at arms length on this one.  It could get ugly but I think the public wants this fixed once and for all.

    • Anonymous

      No, it isn’t. But if it is, then I support the port fully. It needs to move into the 2010s and the union is holding them back from doing so. The union deserves to be busted.

      As for selling the port, that isn’t happening sadly. The council is controlled by leftists that oppose even partial sales like PoT done many years ago, so it won’t be happening. It needs council support to happen, but the council opposes the idea.

  • Owl

    MUNZ just hasn’t really understood the issues nor have they taken the public with them. Their website shows 1600 people supporting them . Do the maths. 300 workers plus wives or partners equal 600. That leaves 1000. Let’s say 200 are just straight out union supporters. No doubt some double clicked. So really you are looking at 500 general public. Population of Auckland. 1.5m. People really don’t care if you go on strike – actually the sooner the better as your signs on the street are so unprofessional.
    Union members have elected people who have lost the union $600k in the last 2 years are their president is employed as a director of a company who major investor is ports of Tauranga. MUNZ no one really cares!

    • Lunacy08

      you also forgot other international union memebers signing it and their partners

  • MUNZ were at Britomart Station handing out fliers and trying to get people to join their campaign. I take it MUNZ were told to get —-ed by commuters wanting to get home?

    • Mully

       They had an insert sheet in the Western Leader the other day – possibly the same flier I suppose.

      Too little too late – when a lot of people are doing it tough, you’re going to struggle to find much sympathy for $90K plus Union “workers”

  • Lunacy8

    Ports of auckland…. Im a experienced  crane driver, ill come work for you especially for 91k a year, ill even drive through the picket line when they are striking. NOT joking either

    • Gazzaw

      You and hundreds of others. As for phil saying that the international brotherhood are lining up to go out in sympathy well that just doesnt happen any more. Who amongst our major trading partners is he talking about. Aussie? Forget them, their unions can’t wait for the opportunity for an Aussie port to pick up POALs regional business. US & Europe? Dockers’ jobs are as scarce as rocking-horse shit so not too much joy there. Asia? Are you kidding me.

  • ConwayCaptain

    MUNZ has been on crack for years

  • Owl

    POAL can fold up because ports of Tauranga can be NZ new big hub. MUNZ can’t complain because Gary parsloe is a director of the stevedoring company which major shareholder is ports of Tauranga. MUNZ members are snookered. 90% of aucklanders would be happy to see the port close down as it is an eyesore – creates huge traffic issues and sits on some very valuable land.

    Exports and importers will determine the fate of business at the wharf NOT UNIONS -MUNZ members I really stress you do your homework and don’t get suckered into what your leaders are saying. UNIONS DO NOT DRIVE ECONOMICS IN THE BUSINESS WORLD! If the did you would be all running Microsoft ….. Swallow some pride and listen to this piece of very good advice. 90% plus of people dont give a dam! Your president is employed by the ports of Tauranga if you don’t believe me go to the NZ companies office. It is all in the public domain and is hidden through two companies called c3 limited and TNZL.

    • Greg M

      Correct Owl, Union members stop being so fucking thick, your “representative” stands to profit if you lot end up out of a job.
      Last week I purchased a small parcel of POT shares, for $ 10.58, today’s price on NZX main board $ 10.67.Go figure.

      I do not want POAL to fail, Auckland is NZ’s best export port, for both technical and economic reasons.

      • Anonymous

        That’s the thing I can’t understand…they nominate one bloke to speak on their behalf but, in this situation at least, he has a vested interest in the talks breaking down. 

    • Anonymous

      Owl…much respect to you, I’ve read what you’ve posted and it’s always good stuff. Perhaps we should have a meeting of minds and discuss our ideas about this ‘scenario’ the MUNZ is presenting because we’ve both come across and introduced the same information relating to MUNZ potentially benefiting significantly from casual labour and their lacksadaisacle (compound word I have just now invented) attitude toward to filing of statutory documents

      • Owl

        Ok if you send your email address to whale oil he will forward onto me

      • Owl

        Sarrs where can I get your email address?

    • Anonymous

      I think I will research that. It should make a good post on 
      my blog if true.

      • Owl

        What is your blog. Go to my writings on Ernst young $91k it is all written up there

      • Anonymous

        Owl, it is semi-new blog. It is a second attempt in a way after I had PC issues that resulted in absence from the blog for a long time. The original was a Blogger blog, the new one uses WordPress and I bothered to buy a domain and web hosting for it. it is:

        The previous one was called Kiwi Political Musings, but the new one focuses on current affairs, not just politics.

        Thanks for the advice on how to do the research, I will look into that now.

      • Anonymous

        Owl, it is semi-new blog. It is a second attempt in a way after I had PC issues that resulted in absence from the blog for a long time. The original was a Blogger blog, the new one uses WordPress and I bothered to buy a domain and web hosting for it. it is:

        The previous one was called Kiwi Political Musings, but the new one focuses on current affairs, not just politics.

        Thanks for the advice on how to do the research, I will look into that now.

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