Ports Update – POAL Contracts out, illegal strike action contiinues

The Maritime Union is set for another court defeat this afternoon as they again perform unlawful strike action, this time in Lyttelton.

The Ports of Auckland industrial action is spreading to Christchurch.

The Port of Lyttelton has lodged an application for injunction with the Employment Court to stop union members in Christchurch refusing to unload a container ship, the Lisa Schulte.

It’s understood up to 300 Maritime Union members are refusing to handle the ship’s cargo, as it was loaded by non-union staff in Auckland.

The injunction application will be heard in the Employment Court this afternoon.

Meanwhile the Ports of Auckland has decide to contract out the stevedoring work:

Ports of Auckland has today decided to introduce competitive stevedoring into its Fergusson and Bledisloe Container Terminal operations.

This announcement comes after an extensive eight-week consultation and evaluation process. This produced a compelling business case showing that competitive stevedoring could enable Auckland to become New Zealand’s best-performing port, and a leader in the Asia-Pacific region over a short period.

Port CEO Tony Gibson said the decision to bring the Port’s stevedoring operations in line with global industry best practice would be welcome news for Aucklanders as well as customers.

“We’ve weighed up all the options and we believe this is the best decision for the future of the Port. Auckland enjoys significant natural advantages, including its proximity to New Zealand’s largest market, where 60% of exports, and 70% of import business takes place. Until now we have been constrained by practices which have reduced the Port’s competitiveness, and in recent months industrial action, which has lost us significant business.

Ports of Auckland Chairman Richard Pearson said that the Board’s first priority is to win-back lost business, retain current clients and put the Port on a pathway to success.

“This decision will reassure the wider market and customers that we plan to achieve a sustainable lift in the Port’s competitiveness as soon as possible, Mr Pearson says.

“We have our sights set high. Our ultimate goal is to become not just New Zealand’s most efficient and productive container port, but a leader in the Asia Pacific region.

Make no mistake here, union intransigence has caused the loss of their jobs. The last week has shown that Ports of Auckland can operate the port without the handbrake of union meddling.

Garry Parlsoe and the Maritime Union have been outplayed comprehensively by Ports of Auckland. They shouldn’t be surprised by the actions of POAL.

UPDATE: As predicted by this blogger Len Brown is staying staunch in backing his Port company:

Union officials are challenging Auckland Mayor Len Brown to intervene on behalf of 292 port workers who have been sacked by Ports of Auckland.

But Mr Brown is refusing to take a side in the industrial dispute between the company and union members – saying he is working only for the “people of Auckland”.


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  • Quintin Hogg

    Cue hysterical bleating….

  • beanyboy

    Bravo POAL. I wouldn’t have left it this long though.
    What sort of people strike because the ship wasn’t loaded by Union employees, can you imagine if a bunch of non union workers said “Nah I’m not doing that it was loaded by union workers” The unions would cry that there members were being treated poorly. I see Parsloe is still going on about casualisation what a dickhead.

  • Hakim of phut

    Race to the bottom.
     Competitive stevedoring ?  Will the importer/exporter get to choose your stevedore ?  Of course not, you get what you are given, like todayRemember how introducing competition into ACC market means raising prices first.

    • Work for a living

      Maritime Union National President Garry Parsloe said this morning “We’re already providing
      flexibility and have offered even more in negotiations with the Ports.”

      Err no, they’ve blocked negotiations for 6 months, given strike notices while negotiating and publicly saying everything is going fine, and finally been shown up that non union workers do more work, quicker.

      Yup, you do get what you’re given, and the port workers have been given the shaft by MTUNZ decisions and actions.

      •  Gary is actually quite right for once, the union workers are extreamly efficient, i mean look how many ships have been unloaded while they are not even working. How awesome they are, shit gets done while they’re not even there, super efficient…

    • In Vino Veritas

      Hakim, you knowlege of operating a business could be written on the back of a postage stamp with an extremely large tipped felt pen.

      • Markm

        The felt pen wouldn’t lose any ink

    • politically unstable

       I was not ever going to reply to Phutwit – again his understanding of
      contracting out of stevedoring is very poor. Certainly at POT the
      stevedoring companies are not solely contracted to the Port. Some
      contracts  are with the shipping line and some are with the cargo owner.
      It depends on the situtaion. There are cases for conventional
      stevedoring where two companies will work the same ship.

      We will have to wait and se what model is endorsed by POAL – but it has alreadty been confirmed that phutwit has no understanding of these matters

    •  MUNZ gets what it wanted eh Hakim? Oblivion, and bugger the members…

    • Bafacu

      phut: An extreme goose. There are grades of stupidity. Phut represents the state of being a dense, absent-minded, fool who is quite ignorant of the fact.


    If a dog keeps biting the hand that feeds it,one day it will be put down.Guess this mongrel got what it deserved.

    •  Or the feral cat that keeps spraying its rancid piss everywhere and generally being a pest…we have pictures here on WO blog to show what is thought of the feral cat. awesome

      • Mark C

         I love it.  Well stated, Stacy. Revenge of the BBQ’s!!! 


        Removing the nuts helps with spraying.See ya boys.

    • jay cee

      good news for all you guys, the union lost, the bad news is you’re going to have to find something else to bitch about.

  • BJ

    How can it be that 300 people have dragged all the rest of us in to their job dispute while the rest of the population are dealing with disappointment, change, uncertainty and potential job loss on a daily basis?
    The world has truly gone mad and now NZ has truly joined in.

  • BJ

    The lesson here for Union members is that belonging to a collective doesn’t assert your rights – it  takes them from you They are all getting carried along in vacuum and there’s probably a lot that don’t like it one bit – they’re the only ones I feel sorry for.

  • hoha

    With Lyttelton now not touching these ships does that mean that gary has black listed them. if so isnt that an illegal action on his behalf, therefore shouldnt he be charge in court for doing so.
    He has been quoted many times saying no ships will be worked on.

  • grumpy

    I have a container on the Lisa Schulte.  We urgently need the shipment for urgent Canterbury rebuild work.  If it is held up by illegal strike action, I will be encouraging my shipping company to take action against the illegal strikers for damages.

    • Hakim of phut

      Good luck with that ! Lets see it will cost about $25k to go to court. 
      And your poor planning has contributed to 50% of cost of delay.  ergo your damages awarded is $267.

      • StacyMcNaught

         Poor planning? I know you often stretch things Hakim, but seriously how did you get poor planning from that?

      • SJ00

        Poor planning? yeah he didn’t plan on union members black listing this ship months ago when he ordered his goods.
        Ban this muppet, he is too stupid to be here.

      • Work for a living

         lol, poor planning on relying on port workers to do the job they’re paid to do.  Honestly, is this the logic you’re so proud of ??

        Grumpy you should instigate legal action against MTUNZ and those refusing to unload, it’ll be a piss easy win AND remind those folks they’re choosing to break the agreement of working and delivering your goods. Not your fault at all.

      • Hakim of phut

        The pro’s organise in advance, the fools yell down the phone , I need it yesterday

      • In Vino Veritas

        Businesss (plus now seemingly, law) knowledge, postage stamp, felt tip.

      • StacyMcNaught

         Hakim, you have no choice with shipping but to organise in advance, it takes time to get here, but when the freight is organised, they will give them an expected arrival time i would guess otherwise no one would use shipping. To give you some credit, it is nice to see you sticking to a topic for once.

      • Hakim of phut

        Youd think that Stacy . I suppose thats why there is ( usually) 200 trucks waiting at PoAL
        . Is that because they are organised.?

      • hoha

        Where the hell do you come up with these numbers hakim. You will never get 200 trucks waiting all at the same time. And I know for a fact the the road office workers process 150 to 200+ teu a day.

      • hoha

        150 to 200+ a day each that is

      • grumpy

        What dick!  We ordered this container from Europe 10 weeks ago. Our supplier is a huge European industrial manufacturer who deals through one of the world’s largest freight forwarders.  They put our container on the NYK Vega which transhipped at Singapore onto the Lisa Schulte. 
        You can bet that the shipping company has already changed routes to avoid Auckland.  I woukld bet their major NZ port will now be Tauranga.
        You see, Phut, the customer is always right – the Union is irrelevant as it’s members are now finding out.

      • grumpy

        ….and phut…..$25k is bugger all in context. I give that away in sponsorship of kids sports events.

      • grumpy

        Hey phut…..heard of liquidated damages????

      • hugo

        hey phutwit I told you yesterday to shut it you know nothing about the ports, didnt I say there would be consequences for striking, cause and effect, and there have never been 200 trucks waiting ever.

      • politically unstable

         Quote of the Day – Edward Gibbon – “I never make the mistake of arguing with people for whose opinions I have no respect.”

        Fuck I wish I could stop making that mistake

    • politically unstable

       Yep, MUNZ could end up being liquidated as they fight a raft of legal actions from various cargo owners, the Ports, and Shippiong line….

      Just quietly, Parsloe’s sphincter muscles will be doing overtime…unlike his brain

      • BJ

        Yes but Parsloes been milking the kitty for all its worth these last 6 months. If I was a Union member I ‘d like to see the books about now

    • Vij

      Go for it.  Suggest you enjoin the moron Hakim also.  Time the Moron put his money where his big mouth is.

  • toby_toby

    What happened to that doshi fella? Is he busy looking for a job?

    • grumpy

      I think he’s busy having an interview with the prospective POAL private contractor………………

  • Sarrs

    Check out the MSM 
    Stuff, neutral headline and open for comments

    Herald, inflammatory headline and not open for comments

  • Sarrs

    From Phil Ure yesterday
    ‘..the gloating-triumphalism seen here has been somewhat premature….’

    You sir, can eat your words. 

    • Doug_S

      Outstanding Sarrs…Love your work.

    • StacyMcNaught

       to Phil…..nom nom nom….

    • Travdog

      should be enough grazing there for several months.

  • Sarrs

    It will be interesting to see who gets the contract for the work. If it is the Auckland Stevedoring Company Ltd this won’t kill the Union. The Union owns half of that company and, indirectly, Ports of Tauranga own the other half. Half of any profit made by ASCL will go straight back to the MUNZ and Parsloe et al will keep their jobs. 

    • politically unstable

       I would put money on ISO out of Tauranga picking up some work (Les Dicksons Company), ASL of course are another obvious candidate…I wonder if any of the ASL workers went out picketing instead of working?

      • Sarrs

        Would be interesting to see if C3 Limited (owned by POT) pick up any work as well – all this has done is improve the POT bottom line through diverting shipping to their port but also (potentially) using firms it has a financial interest in to contract out labour. 

      • ConwayCaptain

        Les Dicksons previous stevedoring co was the NZ Steel contracted stevedore.  Very efficient they were too.

      • politically unstable

         I think its actually C3 that have the shareholding in ASL. C3’s predecessor bought Leonard & Dingley 100% which in turn had the 50% of ASL. (I think thats how it worked). But yes they would be another option.

        I would also put money on an application for an injunction by MUNZ on POAL around the contracting out….but would assume as long as they had their processes in line they will be OK.

      • politically unstable

         Les sold that Co. to what is now effectively C3. He sold 50% to BHP Steel, who then purchased the balance later on, then BHP Steel sold it to Toll, and now it is C3 which is jointly owned by POT and Toll (if my memory serves me right. Les then set up ISO immediately after his restraint of trade finished. (again relyiong on memory a bit).

        C3 are also in Napier, and Lyttleton and have MUNZ members etc

      • Sarrs

        Here is the ownership model

      • politically unstable

         Sarrs – I did quetion my memory – I had forgotten the TLNZ which is Toll Logistics NZ Ltd. TLNZ and another 100% owned POT Coy (employed staff to stevedore at Sulphur point under the cranes) were put together to create C3. Toll own the other 50%

    • Gazzaw

      Parsloe has a shareholding in a couple of stevedoring companies doesn’t he Sarrs?

      • politically unstable

         You will probalby find that the shares are held in trust for MUNZ rather than in a personal capacity.

      • Jester

        NEVER A WHITE FLAG LIMITED (2474748) –




      • Sarrs

        There doesn’t seem to be any individual shareholdings amongst this lot. Parsloe crops up as a director reasonably often – impossible to know if he is remunerated for that as none of the companies are large enough to have to disclose that information publicly. 

        I continue to question Parsloe and the MUNZ’s financial interest in ASCL – potentially that company is now worth far more than it was yesterday. In the face of all logic and common sense Parsloe continued to defy reality and press POAL – I think he’s had a sneaky dollar each way all along. POAL meets MUNZ demands – win for the Union. POAL make MUNZ members redundant, they are employed by ASCL who get a large portion of the contract for POAL – ASCL (and therefore MUNZ) win. Are the MUNZ member aware of this connection?

      • politically unstable

         Sarrs, thats a valid assumption for MUNZ. And I presume the new companies employee’s are free to join any union they wish to? ISO in POT I recall (in the early days) had their very own internal union

      • In Vino Veritas

        Yup Sarrs, you’re on to it. Massive conflict of interest for Parsloe and MUNZ.
        Hmm. A stevedoring company clearly must margin its labourers. Therefore dividends or management fees from MUNZ through to ASCL will keep MUNZ officers in a job, and, and, they can increase their margins by keeping costs down! Therefore levying the union members becomes less important (ie more than one source of revenue). Excellent. Wonder if Parsloe and other officers get a bonus on MUNZ financial performance? If he does, this is the way to pretty much guarantee it going forward.

    • BJ

      Maybe thats what Parsloe wanted to happen all along – to look like he’s helping all the while knowing he’s just helping himself

      • Gazzaw

        Wouldn’t it be great if we had a decent investigative journalist working for an independent newspaper to unravel & analyse these shareholdings & directorships. You can guarantee it won’t make the headlines in Pravda.

  • ConwayCaptain

    What is the hoohaa about contracting out the stevedoring???  In the days of conventional shipping there were a few stevedoring cos and they cobntracted out their services to the shipping cos.

    The wharfies were hired from the Waterfront Labour Pool and worked for the cos on and as and when rerqd.

    I remember that sometimes we had to wait days for labour before we could start work.  Now the ship will be in and the stevedoring cos will be hired on a $ per lift basis.

    Interesting to see how much POAL will charge out for ‘hiring” the container cranes and straddles etc.

    • politically unstable

       Pre the Port Reforms in early 90’s I recall that the captains of some of the log ships had golf memberships at the Golf Clubs around Mount Maunganui…not the case these days as they are not idle long enough…

      • ConwayCaptain

        The agents in Akl could tell the nationality of a Masters arrival telegram.  The Japanese/Koreans “Book the golf course” and they would be down the gangway before the wharfies came up.

         X pallets of beer reqd on arrival.  Aussie ships.

        The problem at sea now and it is a MAJOR one is Psychological.  The strain on the Master and C Eng to adhere to schedules, the huge amount of paperwork and the number of officials coming up the gangway on arrival is horrendous.  The strain of navigating in crowded waters etc.

        The crews are so small that there is no social life and with multi national crews the language difficulties afre enormous.

  • Blokeintakapuna

    Why don’t MUNZ / CTU / Labour Party start their own stevedoring / contracting company and then they can employ all their union cobbers – and pay school leavers $15 or $20/hr -as well as having all the profits returned back to MUNZ / CTU…

    The only fly in the ointment would be they have to make money…. 

    • Sarrs

      If they were as socialist as they say they are, they would run on a very fine margin – make enough to pay the office staff/directors the same annual salary as the stevedores and no more.

  • Phar Lap

    Good news or bad news says Parsloe to his puppet workforce wharfies as he pulls their strings.Give us the good news first says the puppet wharfies,Well we got what we wanted ,support all around NZ.Puppet master gets three cheers,him being a jolly good fellow.Now the bad news say the puppet wharfies.Puppet master replies with his eyeballs hanging out,”WE ARE ALL REDUNDANT,WE WENT TO THE WELL ONE TIME TOO MANY”.Puppet master says he is out of there and off the Bali for some rest and recreation, taking his pension and redundancy with him.He quietly thinks to himself ,if only he had listened to the voice of reason and common sense,things would have worked out on a win win for both parties.Now there is only one winner and it ai’nt the wharfies union.

  • SJ00

    Gary is on Radio Live at the moment, and he is still spinning and lying..

  • Owl

    MUNZ are racking up huge losses under Parsloe – refer incorporated societies office for deatils. My calculation is $600k in the last 2 year. Travel cost is now over $100k compared to a few years back $30k.
    Parsloe is also Director of the Maritime Super as well which has $18m in assets and only 600 odd members.
    He is also a Director of a company which through C3 Limited and TNZL Limited has POT as a major shareholder.

    The sad fact about all this is that there is not really a point that stacks up as a debating issue of any substance. So the POAL want to reshape their business. Over time MUNZ has also reshaped its business – did the public get upset about that.

    This strike as far as I can see is all about power and leadership or lack of. The Council wants more out of the Ports and the ratepayers voted for the indirectly when the elections were held. This whole strike has shown that there is not enough governance or controls in place and clearly no working relationship between stakeholders.

    Mr Parsloe is not a leader but a figher – good leadership has vision and focus, not fists and words (metorphorically speaking). He has made a stance and real leaders stand up and say maybe we have got this wrong?
    Maybe our approach to all of this could of been alot better?
    Did we get the public onside?
    Did we ask the right question?
    Did we look further enough into the future and see what business will look like in 10 20 30 years time?

    • Biker

      Spot on

  • johnbronkhorst

    looks like hakim has never and could NEVER run an import business. Lets see poor planning huh? 2 weeks for manufacture of order FOB (from china in this case), 49 days at sea. ie 63 days to the port in NZ about 8 weeks minimum. Longer if from EU or west coast USA. With Christmas and New year, chinese new year etc to get a product to market in March (including port clearance and NZ transport..order needs to be placed and paid for in advance (standard terms) in US dollars in late NOVEMBER 4-5 months in advance…now thats planning and market knowledge, distribution knowledge, if the union doesn’t screw it up! If union strikes in mean time, market delivery is missed, paymnet not made by customer, bank interest on loans adds up, customers cancel, parts for production don’t arrive on time exports are therefore affected…..bad planning my ass!!!!!

    • ConwayCaptain


      The general hoi polloi like Hakim have no idea about how business runs and having to pay for goods and arrange the transport.  They think it just arrives on the shop shelf and they just go and buy it.

      Luckily these days for small items we have ‘just in time ‘and courier cos that can deliver fast.  I ordered books from St Paul Minnesota on a Thursday and dlivered them to a school in S Akl on the monday!!!

    • Hakim of phut

       49 days at sea …from China…?  That must include waiting on the wharf in China

      These people ( Zhongsan) can do it in 12  days ,  Auckland , Lyttleton   5 days  extra

      • ConwayCaptain

        12 days from China to NZ At what speed perchance?????

      • In Vino Veritas

        5 days extra to Lyttelton – therein lies the nub Conway, the boat must go a hell of a lot slower around NZ to take 41% of the time it takes to get from China to Auckland. For eg: I import kit from Shenzen. Shenzen to Akl 9,170km (crow flies) as opposed to around 800km Akl to Lyttelton. Sheesh.

      • Hakim of phut

        12 days at 15 knts= 4320 nm. This is about the right distance to Southern China.
        The extra days is because its Auckland Wellington then Lyttleton

        What planet are you people on ?

    • politically unstable

       Phut is an absolute shit for brains who argues for the sake of it. Apparently he has never been wrong. But then it takes a bit of intelligence to understand when to STFU and he (she? It?) lacks that in bucket loads.

  • johnbronkhorst

    Hakim you really are an idiot!!! and your numbers are wrong 3 days max if ship is at port, FOB Shanghai, depends on timetable. Auckland ….have had products sit on the wharf for 3 weeks. So please leave your uninformed bull shit comments out of this!!!

  • Mr_Blobby

    Don’t normally comment on this type of thread, it attracts the trolls like flies to shit.
    When did the POAL grow a set of balls? When did the employer get any rights under NZ’s employee weighted employment law?

  • Dutyfree

    Herald poll is backing the POAL 2 to 1.

  • Anonymouscoward

    Will the benefits of reduced labour costs be enjoyed by Auckland ratepayers and consumers or by Vikings in Copenhagen?

    • Gazzaw

      Of course the shipping lines will benefit & what’s wrong with that while AKL is scrapping for a spot as a regional hub port in the new scheme of things? POAL will benefit if for no other reason than senior management’s incentives. Yes, as a consumer I expect to benefit. Why wouldn’t I benefit?

      Whatever the motive is behind your loaded question at least we do not face higher labour costs and the retention of obscene benefits which would have been the case had MUNZ won the day..

  • Doug_S

    Interestingly, their online petition is almost the same as yesterday plus or minus a few votes. Currently running at 6907. A resounding victory for MUNZ…. the public are right behind them! LMAO 

  • grumpy

    Great news! The MUNZ strike at Lyttelton has been broken, we have been given a delivery time for our container early tomorrow afternoon.

    • politically unstable

       It really beggars belief…MUNZ get tipped over by the court in Tauranga for an illegal strike….They try the same in two more locations and surprise surprise, they get the same result….how dumb can you get

  • Rockyr

    I wonder if the little pony is still trotting round in her nice blue tee shirt.

  • thor42

    HoP says it’s “a race to the bottom”.
    Gee… so how come PoT is doing so well then?
    Are *they* “at the bottom”, Phut? 
    All that will happen is that POAL will now have the kind of flexibility that most NZ workplaces have had for the last 20 years. It’s about bloody time.
    I’ll celebrate 7th March from now on as the day that MUNZ got rooted.

    • Sarrs

      An excellent point you make…although I fear it is in vain. You are unlikely to get an answer to such a well stated, irrefutable point.

    • Travdog

      Huckery of Phuckwit would argue it wasn’t raining even if he was standing outside in a monsoon.

      The complete absense of common sense prevents him agreeing with anything correct.

  • Travdog

    I don’t normally engage in gloating, but I think in this case an exception is called for.

    Last night with doshi:

    “i really love you people for months you have spoken about the demise of our great union but as yet nothing has happened contrary to all the crap written by you all.”


    “…….and with the overseas involvment upon us success is near.”

    My response:

    “And yet your “great union” has produced you NO RESULTS.
    MUNZ is like a blind shepherd followed by blind sheep towards the edge of the cliff.
    Doshi, I hope you return here for a chin wag once it has all gone tits up.”

    Well, not more than 12 hours later, tits up it has gone. Do drop in for that chat doshi.

    • thor42

      Hear, hear! 
      I’ll be having a Speights tonight, and drinking to the health of the non-union workers at PoA!  

      • Travdog

        Cheers to the beers! a couple (or 6) Tui’s to the PoA too, didn’t think they had the balls to do it. Dunno what happens to the guys that kept working through the nonsense, all the best to that chap ‘Leata’ or whatever his name was.

  • Owl

    Ok I assume all the workers have now been given their redundancy notices. Now this mean Gary Parsloe is the CEO of a failed New Zealand organization. What do you write on your CV? Lost $600k in two years and 300 jobs.? Skills – gaining the most amount of air points over a two year period.

    Seriously this not good on any CV regardless – as for the majority of staff made redundant I just want to say you have been lead up the garden path. I really do feel sorry for you. I am a true blue but actually I am going to donate because I just think you have been duped.

    I had been blogGing for weeks giving you all information about how MUNZ was being run in a mature way.

    This debate has always been about leadership not costs. Unfortunately your MUNZ leadership made it an argument about cost and not leadership and strategy.

    I know MUNZ staff read this because I brought to your attention some 4 weeks ago that MUNZ hadn’t been filing their financial returns. The next day MUNZ filed their returns after being 2 years late..why I don’t know but it showed a $600k loss over two years….while we are on it EMPU members better get their heads around their $2m loss and decline in $xxm in assets.

    I actually feel sorry to the families but I guess ….WE TOLD YOU SO… not all 4 m people in New Zealand could see it.

  • Gazzaw

    Kelly has kept a low profile today.

    • Greg M

       I’m guessing that she is watching her back at the moment. Today’s events could be the end of the union movement, and I think she knows it.

      • Patriot

        Fantastic news that Union intimidation has not worked — Ports should be responsible employers and be able to choose the best deal from time to time — if that means contracting out , fine

        MUNZ — public sympathy is NOT with you cos you are damaging Ports as a business   eg  Fontera  & Maersk said our Port does not deliver

  • Thomas

    The poor people are working any time of day 24/7 on $26ish an hour. If that was the best job you could land why would you want to work for that much?

    Thats $54080 per annum. If you have a family/mortgage trying to live off that you are screwed.

    • Patriot

      – $56,000 said  ” Wharfie Mike ” on Radio .– more if you do the avaliable overtime

      If that aint enuff to live on – stop living in a flash house with a big mortgage + cut back on all your holidays .

      Geez — no sympathy for wharfies — at all .  Bloody liars who wont see reason — stuff em