The effects of the Port Strike

My mate’s business would probably be described as a medium sized New Zealand-owned business. They import and distribute products used in the construction, infrastructure and resource industries.

This business relies on efficient ports to meet the needs of its customers, who often operate in a ‘just in time’ environment. Over the last month, several ships bound for POAL have been redirected to the next scheduled port of call, often Wellington.

The problem for their customers is that they lose not just hours, but days, to these delays. This means large infrastructure projects are delayed, and it can also mean workers are sent home. While the port union may be, in their eyes, standing up for the port worker the flow on effects to other workers is worrying.

As a business my mate is losing money, mostly from the delays You see, by diverting a ship to Wellington each business then needs to pay hundreds of dollars (per container) on domestic freight. For any ships diverted to Tauranga, businesses
then pay for containers to be railed to Auckland (although this isn’t nearly as expensive as domestic freight).

I realise that businesses losing money doesn’t seem to bother a union leader but for many businesses, the more they can meet customers’ needs and generate money…the more likely they are to employ more staff. It wouldn’t be unusual to defer
employment of a new staff member due to costs incurred in this sort of dispute… the unintended consequences of strikes.

My mate’s businesses isn’t alone. It is not just an issue for Auckland. This is an issue for New Zealand. Without efficient and working ports we cannot have efficient and working businesses that employ New Zealanders.


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  • ConwayCaptain

    I see in this morning’s NZH that the striking MUNZ workers are offering to do voluntary work for peo[ple.

    Why dont they volunteer to work ships for free.

    • Mark C

      I know of a couple of BBQ’s the dirty bastards can clean up…

  • Travdog

    No Conway, thats a bad idea, it would go back to being inefficient. The replacement workers are sending ships out ahead of schedule! Don’t bog down progress with the same muppets. Perhaps they could clean the toilets, prepare smoko for the real workers…..

    • Hollyfield

      Considering they urinated on the BBQs, I would trust them to prepare smoko.

    • ConwayCaptain

      Some would find it hard to clean toilets and BBQs properly.

      Not intelligent enough

  • niggly

    Agree Cam, the actions of the self-serving actions of the MUNZ leadership morons (should that be MorUNZ?) are not only endangering the employment prosepcts of their own members, but workers in those in industry’s and workplaces that rely on the importation & transportation of goods into NZ via PoA.

    I heard Radio NZ Checkpoint on Thursday, I think it was, and poor ol’ Suzie Ferguson was trying to take Gary Parsloe to task for calling for further strikes despite having a reasonable day bargaining in good faith with PoA but Parsloe was evasive and kept blaming PoA for their resulting actions. Parsloe really is a slippery and difficult character, I genuinely feel sorry for his own (good intentioned) MUNZ members and PoA for having to have to put up with him.

    Gary Parsloe? More like Gary PARSEhole.

  • davewin

    What we again need in this country is the Government to legislate the right for it to deregister unions. Take their assets, sequester their funds, and sack the officials. Then maybe, just maybe we will get a muzzle on the fools like Parsloe, and stop the union wasting members’ funds on the inane radio ads they have right now.

  • Willie

    It’s simple really. Employers should have the right to choose to negotiate directly with their employees on an individual basis. They should not have to negotiate through an intermediary (i.e, a Union). That should be their basic right. And they should have the right to stipulate in contracts that any contract negotiations shall be directly between the Employer and the Employee with no third-party involvement. And I believe that to achieve this would probably require removal opf existing Governemtn legislation. Not new legislation. Simple. And of course employees still have the right to not accept a job with those conditions and go look for a job with conditions they can accept. It’s all about giving workers AND employers rights to choose. Right now it seems that workers have these rights but Employers don’t. 

    • Chiefsfan73

      This can be done by reverting to the ECA.  This would be as simple as chancing the collective bargaining clauses, which currently stste that a CEA only has effect if it is signed off by the employer and the union.  This was introduced by the unions best friend, Labour.  And excluded any other bargaining party.  
      My guess it was done to ensure union funds kept flowwing to labour, and not to ensure harmonious bargaining.

  • peterwn

    I would not be at all surprised if Maersk did not have an industrial relations expert who has a deep understanding of union psychology and  has a sound knowledge of the various seafarers and port workers unions. Maersk can then decide on a sound basis how seriously to take the players and any threats made. Maersk’s probable conclusion is the MUNZ is just a joke and is almost harmless to its business interests.

  • Willie

    AND… there is a simple solution to the problem at PoA.
    MUNZ should simply hire these 300 workers on the pay and conditions that MUNZ is demanding and then contract them back to PoA on the terms and conditions being offered by PoA.
    The current dispute should be seen as an opportunity by the show some positive leadership instead of the negative destructive behaviour they are currently demonstrating.
    This can be a win-win situation for both parties, and a fantastic opportunity for the Union to demonstrate how it’s principles can be applied in the business world.
    If MUNZ doesn’t do it, then someone else will… for a profit. MUNZ could be doing it and returning any profit to the workers… (who in effect ARE the union anyway).

    • ConwayCaptain

      AHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!  Willie that is practical Communism and also free enterprise.

      Now that is far beyond the mental capacity of Parsloe et al to grasp

    • Clopper

      Now this is really progressive thinking here Willie and would give the Union a platform into the future securing it as a real player.  But I think it’s too much for them to make that mental shift.  They’ve painted themselves into the role of innocent victim trapped in the battle trenches for so many decades I just don’t think they can make the leap.  So someone else progressive will and then they will cry from the sidelines …. “it should have been me!”

    • Clopper

      You’ve set my mind off into a whirl of how they could do it.  They’ve got the funds and the man power.  But Parsloe hasn’t worked in a real job for decades and even if he retires Phillips, Mayn and Findlay are all looking to sit on the throne and reign the same way.  The inbreeding mentality they have wouldn’t allow them to bring in someone else who could help them either unless they called on Kelly.  Haha, no need to elaborate how that would go. The other problem would be that they would have no one to hate and no one to blame.  Therein lies one of the bigger problems with this, they would all have to change their mentality.  What is the sound of one hand clapping?

  • Guest

    So let me try catch what you are advocating, you are trying to say that these people aren’t worth having guaranteed work that they have to bow down to there masters and take whatever scrapings from the high table they can get and say “thank you, sir for my pittance.”
    This is yet another case of the w&*%^s on top deciding they want more money for themselves so thay are going to pay the people who bust there asses day in day out less, what would you do in there position? With the price of everything going through the roof and everything else that’s going on and all of a sudden your boss tells you “we don’t want to pay you any more so where going to cut your guaranteed hours so we can get heaps of boongas in who will do your job for $13.50 now kiss the ring and begone” 
    I bet you wouldn’t be very pleased and it is for this exact reasons that we need our unions so we are not just serfs at the whim of the landlords who are more interested in profit before people, I say go MUNZ take these bastards to task 

    • Dave


    • thor42

       I didn’t know you could write, Mr Parsloe. 

    • Bunswalla

      What a tosser. Average $91k a year isn’t a pittance or scrapings from the table – wanker. Working only 26 hours for every 40 you get paid for isn’t busting your ass – moron. What would I do in your position? Get an education and learn how to write, for a start – idiot.
      You can’t get more of a guarantee than a published roster of all your hours for the next month, with the ability to choose what hours you want, within reason.

      Please keep posting your bigoted, ignorant, racist lies. I’m sure it’s doing the union’s cause a power of good. Bravo – dickhead.

    • Scanner

       The best thing POAL could do is just walk away from the MUNZ and forget they ever existed, the port is now working more efficiently than when the scum unionists were “working” it, move on nothing to see here.

    • Clopper

      Thanks for the great joke but it’s time to go back to The Standard and your mates like Fender.  Be quick about it though as Fonterra’s on its way to harvest your brain for cottage cheese.

    • Biker

      Adjust your white pointed head sheet, the eyes holes have slipped down over your nostrils and you’re looking at nothing.

    • TinkerBell

      It’s amazing that Guest is so toxic and racist when he/she (although sounds like a spurned and victimized woman to me) doesn’t realize that about 70% of the wharfies are of Maori and Pacific Island decent! There is a small number of Europeans there but most of them are the ones who are gleefully rubbing their hands together waiting for their fat redundancies to come through! Additionally Guest, their minium wage for a full Tim straddle driving stevedore is $28/HR which was confirmed by Ernst and young. But toxic racist victims like yourself never want to evolve by having an original opinion so I doubt that you will take too much notice to this answer! Mores the pity but not everyone is born with intelligence, so sad.

    • Qualanqui

      OK well done so you picked out the one racist turn of phrase in the whole reply and label me a racist and as for tink I can pretty much guarantee you think that DonKey is the best PM ever and all his policies are bang on the mark and you have the temerity to call me unintelligent.
      Seriously you may think you are safe but just wait till there finished with the poor and start on the middle classes

      • Vikingonmars

         Nah too late. they have already done the middle class and now they are working on the rich pricks that work on the wharf. Clearly you have no idea of what wages are paid to most in the real world. Have you.
        Try it for a whie and see how you go IF anyone will employ you.

      • TinkerBell

        Guest/Qualanqui or whatever other handle you want to call it, you have an axe to grind! All of your subtext comes across as an angry individual and people like that don’t get far in life. I bet you wonder why so many people avoid you. Nevermind clearly not their loss. I was not the only one that called you racist! Clearly you are as the use of “boonga” is totally dispicable in today’s society hence why you were attacked so. The fact you thought it and then used it highlights your mentality! Sweetheart I am not politically affiliated with any party. Politics bore me. So I will put everyone straight right now! I am directly involved in this dispute! I know the company, I know the stevedores. Until you work at the ports of Auckland and are as directly affected as I am, you can shut up – you would be better off to go spread your toxicity at the standard where clearly you are among other ignorant and politically motivated friends!