Illegal strike action by Wharfies

CentrePort in Wellington must be a bunch of tools to not see this coming. The Port of Tauranga went to court successfully on Sunday to get a blanket injunction against secondary strike action.

An industrial dispute at Wellington’s port heads to court this morning, with a Maritime Union Wellington spokesman saying they expect to be ordered back to work.

A fully loaded 14,000-tonne cargo ship remains in limbo at Wellington’s wharf as industrial action at the Port of Auckland spreads across the country.

Unionised cargo workers at the capital’s port declined to handle the Maersk Aberdeen when it came into port on Friday because it had been worked on by non-unionised workers in Auckland.

The ship has been “blacked” by Wellington wharfies, with Maritime Union members picketing the port during the weekend.

Yesterday, CentrePort announced it would seek a court injunction from the Employment Court to force the workers to handle the ship. The hearing was set to start at 9.30am today.

This morning, Maritime Union Wellington secretary Mike Clark said it expected to be ordered back to work today.

“That’s usually how these things go.”

Workers would comply with any court ruling, he said.

“You can’t disobey a court order.”

How about the Maritime Union comply with the law about secondary strikes.


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  • Hakim of phut

    Employers have ‘blacklists” too. So lets not get worked up
    Its not an illegal strike unless they disobey the court. See how they follow the ‘letter of the law’, letter by letter.

    • politically unstable

       Dumbfuck – secondary strike action is not allowed. This union continues to dig its own grave.

    • Work for a living

       Why can’t the union follow their work agreement already in place with the port company ? Or is it a case of the rules change whenever it suits the union ? Try being in the real world in a business where employees decide on a whim whether to work or not and see how far you go.

  • captain Kidd

    I bet they will take forever to unload it,i would go down town and find unemployed to unload it,garantee they will be quicker.

    • Hakim of phut

      Unemployed who can operate a $15 mill container crane ??
      When did you last see a ship at a wharf? 1975 !

      • ConwayCaptain


        The crane is positioned alongside the hold to be worked and the first container off is landed on the wharf and the corners marked with chalk.

        It is then just a matter of run out, drop down so that the flippers catch the side of the container insert the locks, lift, run back in and lower to the chalk marks. along comes the straddle and removed container.

        When loading container is landed by straddle between chalk marks and hey presto.  No luffing of the jib, no swinging jibs across decks with a 20tonn load attached etc etc.  It aint rocket science.

        The straddles tkae more expertise to drive.

      • Philip ure a cock

        And they get paid $92k for doing that?!?!? Un-fucking-believable!!! They are going to get a hell of a shock when they’re fired and try to get job in the real world!

    • politically unstable

      I would imagine there are non-union workers who can operate the cranes and achieve better productivity just like happened at POAL. Or bring in crane operators from another port. OR, just lock the shits out.

  • In Vino Veritas

    Hmm, MUNZ brought down and dressed.

    1. Bring beast down with accurate shooting.
    2. Prop beast on back, Make incision just above the genitals up to the rib cage.If cutting through ribs, avoid sternum. Avoid knicking intestines
    3. Turn beast on side. Guts will spill half out. Cut away fat holding intestines in. Remove bladder etc if one chooses (avoiding breaking or puncturing)
    4. Cut diapraghm away, cut esophagus and remove heart, lungs and release intestines.
    5. Wash up.

    MUNZ would probably be at about 3, guts half out.

  • did you see the news item about the international wharfies’ union reps flying in..?

    ..and pledging their support…?

    (like i told you they would..)

    ..the gloating-triumphalism seen here has been somewhat premature….

    ..and misguided..

    [email protected]

    • In Vino Veritas

      And exactly what are the IWU reps going to do here, except bleat, Phillip? They would surely be better placed trying to stop Maersk from using POAL. But then, they’ll be told to take a jump.

      •  i would guess they are here in person to reinforce the seriousness of their pledge to do what they can.. make sure the ports/cpouncil etc take that particular fact on board..

        [email protected]

      • You mean bully and cajole Phil?…that is all unions are good for.

    • Kthxbai

      Excellent, let them come.  Nothing will get the electorate’s backs up quicker than a bunch of foreigners trying to tell us how to run things.

      • (reply to mr oil..)

        of course another perspective on unions is that the aussie unions told the rand-ite/rightwing/neo-lib freaks to ‘fuck off..!..’

        ..(whereas ours said:..’please use a condom’..and then went and waited for their rewards.(seats on boards..etc..)

        ..which brings us to now.. zealand a low-wage economy..

        ..australia not a low-wage economy..

        ..unions most definitely have their uses..

        ..(and i am picking they will see a resurgance in numbers/members..

        ..this with the upcoming rise of its’ many forms..)

        [email protected]

    • Doug_S

      Phil…They can fuck off mate. Who the hell do the unions think they are? We own the port not them regardless of any so called support they might have from other unions. Take a look at their (cry me a river) website and tell me how many people have signed the online petition…no more than 6800. Does that look like a groundswell of support..? Eh? Mate?… I wouldn’t mind betting there are names that appear multiple times or at least 25% unverifiable names.

      I like many, many Aucklanders have had a guts full of this bullshit. If had had the displeasure of meeting anyone of those lazy ass unionists they would get the same 2 words…

    • Sarrs

      I think what MUNZ needs to do is get the public on side – they have totally alienated the majority of the public with Parsloe’s mismanagement of the whole situation. Bringing in foreign union ‘heavies’ isn’t going to persuade the public that MUNZ are fighting the good fight. Blacklisting ships and disrupting even more of NZs economy isn’t either. It’s only going to make it worse. 

      I have said it before – the MUNZ are still acting as though it’s 1975 and the public just simply do not have the same sympathies as they did back then. Phil – perhaps you could explain to us how exactly these people are going to make a difference to this dispute – are they here simply to motivate the MUNZ and other union members in solidarity of this strike? Because if that’s the case, they are preaching to the choir – it’s not the union members they need to get on side, it’s the public.

      •  see..the thing is..anyone with half a brain knows that if the wharfie-union gets broken..

        ..that other unions will move to top of the hit-list..

        ..(teachers’ union..?..anyone..?..)

        plus the wharfies are the frontline in the upcoming fightback against the 1%/those who have been screwing us..forever..

        ..this is why this battle is important.. brown has been outed as the ‘acceptable-gatekeeper’ for the elite/% that he is..

        [email protected]

      •  “..Phil – perhaps you could explain to us how exactly these people are going to make a difference to this dispute..”

        they are here to let the employers know that they will be buying an international fight..with trade/export-implications for nz..

        ..and also problems for shipping companies who cross the picket-line..

        ..(that would be my assumption for ‘why they are here’..)

        [email protected]

    • Philip ure a cock

      You mean jumping at the chance for a junket flying business class and having a holiday in noo zeeland?

  • ConwayCaptain


    In Asia the 1st containers are off usually BEFORE you have finished making the ship fast alongside!!!!!

  • AnonWgtn

    Since when did MUNZ care about legality ?

    • Hakim of phut

      Its a civil jurisdiction, so its not ” illegal” until you have a court ruling that they ignore, which they wont

  • Euan Rt

    I don’t understand why NZ allow a monopoly with a union when business is not allowed a monopoly. Is there any reason why there can’t be a second port workers union. This would then alleviate the problem of ships being worked by non union staff. If POAL had their own union, they could make sure that any financial gains made by MUNZ would be equalled plus 1%. I know this is very simplistic but can anyone tell me why it wouldn’t work?

    • politically unstable

       MUNZ are not a monopoly….they have low memberships in Tauranga and Wellington….they are more prolific at Lyttleton and Auckland where they have managed to survive business evolution….maybe it is due to the ownership structure at the individual ports??

  • ConwayCaptain

    Maybe Mr G Parsloe, shitstirrer of this parish may like to ponder on these things

    1 How much do the wharfies of the ILWU earn.

    2 What is their throughput????  The box boats on the Asia WCNA run are like a bus service. 

    3 What hrs do they work to get this money???

    In the early 80’s I as Mate of a box boat on this run and I told then what I earned in US$ and they laughed.  A wharfie ther in the mid 80’s was on US$100k pa.


    They, the unions are on a road to an arse kicking.Would be the type of people who would chuck the woman and children out of the life raft,just to save themselves.Stop trying to drag all the other poor bastards around the country,who by the way have no problems with their employment,into your stoush with Auckland ports.People should show dignity in defeat.

  • Greg M

    What are the issue? someone please explain. It seems that the public (me) have little knowledge of what the issues are? All I heard is that they get $92K pa for working a 20 something hr week. If this is true then I say what are they on about. They don’t look very credible on TV. Come across as a bunch of whingeging bunch of softies whose power has gone to their heads and distorted their sence of reality. This contrasts with the ultimate efficient working man like a gun shearer. Lean hard muscle who put in a honest days work. Like they are not rocket scientists or bwain surgeons are they. Just a bunch of ordinary working men with primary skill levels. Now someone please tell I’m wrong.

    • Greg M

      I just found out today what’s going on with the wharfies. A friend tells me his friend was unemployed for 2 years prior to working on the wharf. He skites about how they get paid every week and will only work from 8am to 5pm, ship or no ship. There is a lot of idle time playing pool and cards.The port is now giving 3 weeks notice of the date & time a ship docks and they have to start loading/unloading on a rostered 24 hr shift. Which means they will be working for their pay.  They will now have to reapply on fixed term contracts & agree to no longer holding up a ship after 5pm until the 8am the next morning. This new work practice does not suit a lot of the old wharfies so they need to look at their options as there are hundreds of other members of the NZ workforce who consider it a privilege to have a well paid job down there. The wharfie on TV with a wife & 12 kids will buckle. Put money on it. Industrial action will only get worse as they expand the port if they don’t sort out the issue of who runs the port, the owners or the workers. Lets face it. It takes talent to run a successful business. Do we really want to be held to ransom by a bunch wharfies? If so, support them but please don’t cry when faced by the consequences.

  • Greg M

    ^^^^ Mini me ?