Owl on the Ports dispute

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An Observation by the OWL

Before Parsloe and Kelly get all too excited about the ruling which in fact is not a ruling – just an opportunity for both parties to restart negotiations, as POAL have agreed to go back to the table.

The negotiations are still has to be under mediation and the Judge said he will follow proceedings.

The Judge never said that POAL had a weak legal case, in fact there is no mention on the weakness or the strength of any legal case.

The Judge also said that both parties should not discuss in the media – what does Kelly and Pasloe do – slams POAL, slams the Auckland Council and Mr Len Brown starts spouting off. Point 4 in the so called “ruling” outlines very carefully that both parties show some humility.

However here is what MUNZ hasn’t quite worked out and needs to be very careful of.

If they end up to agreeing to the original proposal by POAL way back when and by all accounts that is there only position because if they do not settle within 4 weeks as indicated by the directive from the Judge, then POAL can proceed with their plans.

The ball is in MUNZ court – The “ruling” as the OWL reads says – MUNZ you have 4 weeks to decide or POAL can make the changes.

4 weeks (actually reference in the “ruling” says a month.) – strangely that is also the timing when the last strike notice finishes.

So the upshot will be POAL gets MUNZ to accept their original offer – as Mr Len Brown always said this could of been settled at the first meeting and the 12% return – will that looks fairly well accepted now as achieveable.

All we need now is for the Judge is to keep MUNZ on track.

Kelly has asked for a review of this mess – I am actually all for this because the performance of MUNZ tactics and NZCTU will come under the spotlight and if the investigation proceeds then guess what – the person gets to interview all the MUNZ members on a one on one basis – fantastic!!! Then we will find out the members stories.

Let common sense prevail.



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  • Salacious T Crumb

    If these union members end up back at work it will be interesting to see how many renew their union memberships. Surely they must feel their union has taken them to the brink for nothing?

    Where is Hoha?

    • hoha

      Salacious I have my own business that I have to run so Ive been busy working. Im not allowed to go on strike as my wife will kick my ass.

  • Wade

    So POAL have shown good faith by temporarily halting third party recruitment and in reciprocation MUNZ will go back to work…… yeah right 

  • ConwayCaptain

    Wait now for the rude and crude comments full of vitriol from Doshi.

    If this is the standard of employees belonging to MUNZ it is no wonder that POAL wants rid of them

  • Light

    I cannot understand the article in the NZ Herald this morning in relation to the Ports media statement.  It is clear to me that there was a request from the judge to make one more attempt at mediation which appears to be one last formality that must be undertaken by POAL in order to be able to legally get their business to a place where they can increase productivity and efficiency.

    Yet in the Herald aka media  – which MUNZ and POAL have been requested to not speak with by the judge – Garry Parsloe said:

    “The union has called a meeting of port workers at noon today to vote on a
    recommendation to end their ninth strike since December, which they
    began four weeks ago tomorrow.”If it is agreed, we will lift the strike immediately,” union president Garry Parsloe told the Herald last night.

    I cannot see how this will be a safe option for those working within the POAL. The recent history of those on the picket line will mean the non-union will not be safe from them and the women who have also been intimidated will also not be safe.  It is POAL’s responsibility to provide a safe working environment for its employees and they cannot ignore this responsibility and accept the stevedores back without careful consideration.  There is also potentially a lot of damage MUNZ could do to equipment once back inside the fence should the negotiations not go their way – it’s a very high risk to POAL.

    For shipping lines and exporters and importers, who would want to see MUNZ back at POAL?  It is not a confidence lifter to know that the same group who strike every two years and have crippled the supply chain for the last 4 months will be at POAL with their hands around POAL’s neck waiting to try and squeeze out more benefits every two years or call phantom strikes over stolen shower heads??  There are people out there desperate to work for POAL now; those who want to work for a good employer and are willing to turn up and do the hours that POAL needs them to.  When you look at the Save our Ports Facebook page there’s nothing but toxic anger and entitlement and that’s not what you want in your workforce.

    POAL must continue with it’s progressive moves, otherwise it will sink to the bottom, be unable to invest in it’s own infrastructure and not be competitive in the marketplace. MUNZ are not capable of enabling this progress to occur and their failure to adapt will make them either extinct, or, stave off their extinction for a little while but it is now inevitable.

    • ConwayCaptain

      If there is damage or threatening behaviour then POAL will be down on them like a ton of bricks

  • hoha

    After reading the article in the herald this morning I can only see that the ports are in a win win position.
    They will either get the first proposal they offered or a new less flattering one so to speak or they will get to contract out. Now for the union to get any credibility with its members they will have to have a secret ballot on the conditions of the next proposal the ports offer them.
    In saying that the ports already have the upper hand as Parsloe is in breach of the judges ruling of not commenting on the situation, and if I’ve read it correctly that was the only ruling he/she passed.

    • politically unstable

       Hoha. I agree with yor assessment but I had to wonder at the POAL comments that were made regarding not straying from their position…that might be POAl position but there was no need to spell it out

      • hoha

        Yeah I agree with that also. I cant understand why Pearson would say anything that may jeopardize their standing in the courts. A mistake on his behalf.  

  • johnbronkhorst

    “The Maritime Union recognizes the importance of not relying on achieving its goals simply through parliamentary methods, and will continue to use industrial tactics and community campaigns to further the interests of the majority, the working class.”…QUOTE from an article titled Election 2011 on the MUNZ web site..Shows that before election this dispute was being used as a political lever, in support of the Labour Party, Greens , Mana Party etc. This was rendered irrelevant (despite the statement above), by the election, so they then tried to paint it as an industrial dipute, instead of a play for political power thinly disguised as an industrial dispute! If they accept they original offer (pre the election) this would go a long way to proving this assersion, as they could accepted it before the election, and have gained NOTHING by the delay!

  • hoha

    Just thinking if the union call off their strike and return to work ( I use the word work loosely ) , they will have to keep up productivity levels to that of the non union workers have achieved. If they don’t then the ports have another case for the judge. Also the ports could stipulate in a new agreement that the new levels of productivity are to remain and be held at these levels.

    • politically unstable

       Hoha, the UNion would just pull out the old “Safety” chestnut. That is their defence for going at snails pace every time.

      • ConwayCaptain

        As I ahve said before “Safety is the last resort of the union”  However they rarely comply with the rules.

        Oh that twist lock fell off and hit poor o;ld Fred.  Sorry