Down at the Port

Yesterday I went down to the port. We have heard a lot of talk from Garry Parsloe about the conditions down at the port and about how terrible management were. I thought I would go and find out for myself. I rang the Port and they said to come on down.

Once I had signed in I was pretty much given a free reign within the boundaries of safety. The place is pretty impressive and later I might go back and look at the technologies used down at the port, from the cranes, to the straddles to the boats.

It was funny walking through the offices because on quite a few computer screens my blog site was showing in their browsers. Everywhere I went people wanted to meet me and thank me for telling their side of the story…and they wanted to tell me more.

The first place I wanted to go was the lunch room while the workers were on their break. As I walked in I was greeted by burly wharfies who were genuine pleased to see someone taking an interest in the work they are doing.

The lunch room is something to behold. There is a table tennis table, it had several people surrounding it playing and enjoying their break. There were a couple of people playing pool. Plenty sitting around playing cards and eating their lunch and chatting at the tables.

Over at the back wall there were 5 computers, ironically 4 of them had my website up on them. The Port provides workers full internet access on the computers and people were doing backing, using Skype, watching Youtube, Facebook and Twitter.

There is also two TV areas with large screen TVs, Sky DVD players and couches and rest areas. On top of that there are numerous fridges stocked with drinks, and other condiments, plus a full kitchen and cafetaria facility. Outside in the BBQ area were two large BBQs for staff to use. I asked which were the union tables, and they all laughed at me and said there was no such thing as union tables anymore…”they left and we reallocated them”…”it is first come first served for seats now”…

The moral and feeling in lunch room was very high and the staff were all enjoying themselves. Not a single person didn’t want to talk and they talked freely. I have made a video of some comments which I will post over the weekend.

I was also shown the gym which workers can use for the extremely high cost of $1 per week.

The over riding feeling I got from talking to over 50 people from office workers to stevedores, crane drivers and straddle drivers was that the company was a great company to work for, that looked after the staff and that the union had mis-represented the issues appallingly.

Their certainly isn;t the miserable conditions down there that Parsloe and Co have painted the place as.

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story.  And when he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet.   Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet, and as a result he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist that takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him.  But you can’t ignore him.