“An Unlawful Strike”

When are the Martime Union and the RMTU going to realise that breaking the law won’t work.

New Zealand law prohibits secondary strike action. Yet the Maritime Union and the RMTU, advised by their American bruvvers are trying to strong arm other Ports.

On Sunday the Port of Tauranga sought and was granted an injunction against their illegal strike action. Yesterday CentrePort in Wellington did the same. The Employment Court judge in that case was scathing:

The Employment Court has ordered Centreport’s striking workers to unload a ship that has been sitting idle for days.

The Wellington wharfies refused to unload the Maersk Aberdeen on its arrival on Friday after it was worked by non-unionised members at the Port of Auckland.

About 300 wharfies are on a three-week strike in Auckland over proposed roster changes.

In a decision released this afternoon, Judge Anthony Ford said he was satisfied that both the Maritime Union and the Rail and Maritime Transport Union had engaged in an unlawful strike.

He said Centreport had taken reasonable steps to avert strike action by allowing four hours for a stop work meeting prior to the arrival of the Aberdeen, despite requiring 14 days notice.

“…the events in question have had a significant potential impact on Centreport and on Centreport’s reputation as a ‘can-do’ port that gave the plaintiff an important competitive advantage.”

Claims by the unions that Centreport had taken the unnecessary step of court action rather than mediation were dismissed because of the immediate need to unload the ship, Judge Ford said.

The injunction was granted ordering the unions to refrain from being party to or directing or encouraging their members to refrain from working the Aberdeen or any other vessel on grounds related to the dispute at the Ports of Auckland.

It is now proven in two court cases that the Maritime Union willfully break the law. It is time that there were financial sanctions for the economic sabotage being committed by these illegal acts. It can’t be far off a class action by shipping companies and Ports against the union for damages as a result of their illegal actions. Based on two Employment Court judgments now about their illegal actions there would only be one result.

One thing is certain though, Garry Parsloe’s hollow promise that not a single ship would be unloaded and that the Ports of the country would be brought to a stand still are laughable. As each ship docks and is unloaded and reloaded in record time at Fergusson Terminal the resolve of the bruvvers on the picket is seeping away.

Once reports come in from their pals that have already got new jobs elsewhere their resolve will crumble. Already it is fragile, the reports coming in on the tipline are mounting and fascinating at the same time.


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  • Hakim of phut

    OK I was wrong, the hold up was unlawful. But what I meant to say it wasnt an ‘offence’ to do so.

    • Budap

      Phutwit/Trev you are an Idiot ! Union  numbers all ove rteh country will start to fall as a result of these twats at the port.  What value are the members getting for their subs ? 9 of 12 EPMU members at our place have treuned in their cards, we are facing issues due to this lack of activity at the port, and these guys see the writing on the wall.  Do us all a favour and get back to the standard, you knobhead.

    • Vij

      You are always wrong

  • peterwn

    It suddenly occurred to me yesterday – how did Helen Clark’s Labour Government leave such a gaping loophole in its ‘Employment Relations Act’ – the one that Margaret Wilson started drafting in the late 1990’s before Labour got into power. It then dawned on me that while Labour were going to give lots of goodies to the unions, the one thing it was not going to do was to give the unions the legal power to hold the Government and the country to ransom. So this is one thing Helengrad got right.

  • ConwayCaptain

    When the BRUVVERS and their 61 o’seas BRUVVERS march up Queen Street, I expect that they will be sheltered behind a screen of their families etc.

    Woulnt it be nice if the shareholders in the POAL, the ratepayers, showed their appreciation of MUNZ in the time honoured way.

    Rotten Tomatoes and bags of flour.

    Will the Loony Left like Socialist Cindy etc be marching with them???  She and Parsloe would make a lovely couple

    • Philip ure a cock

      I’ll happily shout you 10 dozen eggs. Wish I was in Auckland to give them shit!!! It’s about time the ordinary folk stood up against the loony fringe who hog the MSM with all the noise they make! Aucklanders should protest against the protest!

      I wanted to do that and occupy the occupy sites, but funnily enough I had the inconvenience of that thing called work.

  • SJ00

    I don’t get this at all. Lets say in my job I refuse to work on a spreadsheet because someone that doesn’t belong to the same team as I do, created it and passed it on to me. This spreadsheet is the main job I am required to do. If I refuse to work on this, I’m damn sure I would be hauled up in front of the manager and told to work on it or given a warning etc. How can workers be justified in not working on a ship (their job) because non union workers unloaded a ship in another port??? Why isn’t this handled like any other emplyment matter? Warnings, job performance, dismissal? What makes being in a union so god damn special they can do stuff like this? Is there a law that protects this action (I guess not, based on the article and court ruling). So can management start dealing with people that don’t turn up to work? If I was a manager or boss, these workers would be on my shit list and I’d be doing everything in my power to get rid of them. Legally.

    • Work for a living

       Exactly. In any other job you’d be warned, then sacked if you decided on a whim to not work. Yet unions believe they have immunity and the ‘right’ to decide on whether to work or not. WTF ?? Let these idiots go, employ someone who *wants* to work and pay them.

    • jonno1

      It used to be called “disobeying a lawful instruction” and was a dismissable offence. Don’t know if anything has changed as I no longer employ staff. Had a senior professional once try this on (he didn’t like his immediate boss). He got the fright of his life when I told him to do it or pack his bag, and complied with the instruction at commendable speed.

    • Vij

      Don’t you know all employers are bad.  The only good thing they do is they have to pay you heaps for not doing any work!!!!!!!  Think of Hakim & Philip there the best examples

  • Ben

    There would be scope for the respective ports to take action against MUNZ under the economic tort of interference with contractual relations  where the tortfeasor disrupts the ability of one party to perform his obligations under the contract, thereby preventing the plaintiff
    from receiving the performance promised. The classic example of this
    tort occurs when one party induces another party to breach a contract
    with a third party, in circumstances where the first party has no
    privilege to act as it does and acts with knowledge of the existence of
    the contract. Such conduct is termed tortious inducement of breach of

    It would be costly action to take and it may be difficult to prove MUNZ role given that if they are prepared to fragrantly breach the low in the case of unlawful strikes then a bit of document burning pre-discovery would no doubt be childs play

    on the positive side a judgment could be a serious blow to them and their funds, if the judgment exceeded their assets

    • Blokeintakapuna

      Ben – you’re da man!

      You seem to have the legalities understanding / lawyer knowledge – please can you start some legal actions against these thugs?

      Maybe WO could organise / coordinate / provide a blog space so all of us against MUNZ / CTU and their holding us to ransom can form some kind of “union” to fight these mongrels in Court?

      Where to I send my money? This example would be a fine time for Pro Bono laywers to take it to these parasites….

      • Hakim of phut

        He doesnt know his employment law.  Most law students dont !!
        The rest is gobblygook. If your business relied on goods arriving ‘exactly’ as described you would use airfreight, ie the flowers wilted while waiting on the wharf. A 6 week sea journey  and then a day or so extra? Pull the other one,

      • politically unstable

         It could well be Maesrk that would initiate the legal action as they are the affected party. They could be joined by the Cargo Owners of course. The port could also join in on the party.

        They would then sink MUNZ with court action due to the legal fees that would need to be funded…

        MUNZ just keep on digging

  • SJ00

    Breakign News. Gone. POAL is going ahead with their plans for employment change!

    • Work for a living

      “Ports of Auckland is making its striking workers redundant and will contract the work out.

      In an announcement this morning it’s announced it’s moving to a “competitive stevedoring model” for unloading cargo.”

  • Ben

    @ Hakim, you are correct in so far as the Employment Court has exclusive jurisdiction in so far as [s99(1)] proceedings founded on a tort involving a party to strike in terms of the courts ability to strike out actions and provide immunity where the strike is lawful (not an issue here) however outside that limited immunity the status of industrial action even that over which the Employment Court has jurisdiction appears to remain to be determined by the common law. I suggest you get Gary to run off some addendum to your union handbook!

  • parorchestia

    As I mentioned before, bad unions eliminate their members’ jobs.  

  • ConwayCaptain

    Remember in about 1990 during the Port Reforms TGA was out on strike for about 8 weeks.  NZ Steel had a cargo of slab from Korea and it was discharged in Akl and trucked to Glenbrook at 12 MT+ a picec it was single trucks as opposed to railed up from TGA.

    NZS rail all their steel to TGA where it is loaded and they are v efficient.

    • Kiwidon

      I organised the job from NZ Steel – we were flat out!