Threats of Violence Prevent Return

NZ Herald

There is a menacing air hanging over the Ports of Auckland today. Not without some justification, the Ports of Auckland is refusing to let union heavies back onto the wharf. All they need to do is look through the Facebook pages of union strikers and see the threats, both overt and implied about what they are going to do the “scabs” when they get back on the wharf.

Locked-out Auckland wharfies will not be allowed to return to work until the port company is satisfied its non-union workers are safe from intimidation and threats of violence, board chairman Richard Pearson says.

Ports of Auckland yesterday issued a two-week notice of an indefinite lockout just a day after scrapping plans to sack 292 workers and replace them with non-unionised contract workers.

The lockout comes after the Maritime Union yesterday lifted its strike notice and sought an immediate return to work.

Mr Pearson today said a decision on when union members could return to work would be made after talks with the union this morning.

“We are obviously concerned about our staff that are already working at the port, they have been subjected to much intimidation and threats of physical violence,” he told Radio New Zealand.

“That’s our first priority … to make sure that they’re looked after, because the last thing we want is a situation down at that port which would just be a huge health and safety risk.”

It certainly looks like trouble is brewing at the Port, so much so that on two cameras there is a sizeable Police contingent. It look however that the Maritime Union cannot muster the numbers they had at the start of their strike action. They are going to have to start explaining where all the members have gone.

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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.