Trotter on Ports Dispute

Chris Trotter has gone all misty eyed and asked the union to stand strong. He comments in his post:

So stand steady, comrades. If it seems dark now, it will be lighter soon. You are not alone. You have right on your side – and time as well. Every day and every ship that passes brings the moment of reckoning for Tony Gibson and his mates one day and one ship closer.

Strong stuff…but last night at 10:09pm the Passat Spring docked at Fergusson terminal…this ship didn’t pass.

Garry Parlsoe has told the world that not a single ship will be worked, and Chris trotter says the ships will “pass”…they are both dreaming.



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  • Guest

    W/O, how could you miss the quote at the end!

    And the same goes for that filleted jellyfish formerly known as Len Brown. If I may conclude by paraphrasing the Australian Labor Prime Minister, Gough Whitlam, on the day he was dismissed:“Well may you say ‘God save Auckland’s port’ – because nothing will save Auckland’s mayor!”

  • ConwayCaptain

    Trotter is 60 years out of date, all his bloody quotes, Petain at Verdun!!!!!!  What he has to realsie is that the days of featherbedding in the workplace is finished.

    I was talking to a Scottish Language teacher yeasterday who has been here 2 years, and teaches at a private girls school.  She told nme that people work harder here than in the UK.

    Maybe Trotter and all his Prole Mates should realise that 28 hrs work for 40 hrs pay is not on anymore.

    Gibson does get paid a ;lot, so do all the CEOs of commercial enterprises in a competitive industry and they have to make sure ALL parts of their organisation give value for money.  Parsloe and co dont understand this.

    • niggly

      Trotter tried to re-frame the debate the other day on WO’s blog about Gibson’s salary (and sure to me it seems ridiculous when being paid more than the PM however that’s a seperate issue & after all nowadays we live in globalised times I suppose).

      But I find it interesting that the Left tend to bring in CEO salaries into these debates.

      I say the rot started many years (if not decades) earlier by the excesses of the likes of musicians and actors (especially actors) demanding ridiculous payments for … well um … acting … and er … singing. Now when have the Left ever condemed these types of people?

      Funny also some of them are Hollywood type activists eg Sean Penn’s ‘Malvinas” musings of late, so is that another reason why a blind eye is turned by the Left? Because it is ok when it is “their” side creaming it? And creaming/exploiting it from whom? Average Joe and Jo Public of course …

    • Fisiani

      Whit diz a Scottish Language teacher teach her weans..tae count in Scots Wan Twa Three Four.
      Whit school teaches a course in Scottish language?
      Oh a gettit noo.
      She is a language teacher wi a Scots accent

  • Gazzaw

    I love the ‘comrades’ reference. Parsloe used it last night. Back to the 70s!

    Where’s Kelly? She’s at the root of this problem. The CTU decided that this was to be the Waterloo of unionism in NZ hence the continued refusal of POAL’s offers. We are threatened by international blacklisting by visiting unionists – bastards should have been turned around at the border.  Who the fuck do they think they are? Threatening a sovereign nation’s trade. What does that make Kelly, Parsloe & all of their fellow travellers?


    • grumpy

      After her claim on Close up that POT was responsible for 3 deaths, she seems to have shut up, unfortunately too late for the union members………

    • niggly

      Kelly’s lurking on Morning Report these days to spin the issue to the ‘educated’ listeners and commuters.

      In fact she was so helpful this morning when a listener text’d in to ask ‘how do I learn more about the issues from both sides’ she txt’d back to say go to the save our ports website!

      perhaps we need to txt in, check out WO & Kiwiblog etc.

  • rouppe

    I notice how the “comrade” is starting to come out now. I saw it from Parsloe on the news last night as well.

    Do they not see all the negative connotations of when that term was used? All the death and killing that surrounded it?

  • Sarrs

    Don’t they understand that with all their posturing and grandstanding in the media they have simply advertised their pay and conditions to the whole country who will now be lining up for those contractor jobs?

    Prior to this industrial dispute, how many of us knew what a stevedore earned per year or how many hours of actual work they do per week? Now everyone knows and competition for those contractor jobs will be steep (even if the union say they won’t apply for them – how can they afford not to???)

  • BJ

    Don’t you just love unions that harp on about how hard done by they are and oh how so important  their labour is.

     Talk about high and mighty – not one of them has the guts to stick their neck out and run a company and all the risks that goes with it – no they are happy to have a job that someone else has created – go to work- sit round maybe for half their time there and then go home without giving the job another thought because someone else is doing all the thinking and planning and organizing while the labourer is free to immerse themselves in their private lives. 

    Don’t you just love critics of employers – the ones that think they are more important than the companies interests – the company that has risks presented every day – the company that provides jobs that support many families.

    Pascoe is on a personal crusade and using words like comrades is pure evil

  • Euan Rt

    Oh I dont know. I think the comrades comment is very apt given the recent Russian election where the victory party was begun before the voting started. I think Parsloe has/had his victory party in view from last year. I expect though it wasn’t going to be a bbq. I think Parsloe should go and live in Russia with like minded bullies.

  • George

    Chris is a good writer, his articles are thoughtful and well constructed.  But his yearning for the days of barricades and shoulder to shoulder with the comrades against the evil bosses seems to lead him down into the garden of hyperbole. MUNZ have crapped in their own hat and no wordsmithing can disguise it.
    Someone gave me a history of the maritime industry in NZ, crimping shipowners, unsafe ships and practice, poor pay, food etc lead to a lot of justifiable strikes. The photos of these events is a contrast with photos of todays picket line. The early pictures show lean hard and weathered men, all dressed in their best as they marched. Today we have the best selection of pie-gutted slobs ever to decorate themselves with ethnic tattoo’s and hi-vis vests.

    Times have changed. Chris should change his rhetorical prose to match.

    • ConwayCaptain


      Sailed with a lot of old seamen who had been at sea pre and post war and the conditions for these blokes and on the waterfront was terrible.

      A seaman torpedoed and in a lifeboat had his pay stopped from the time of the sinking ubtil this was changed later in the war.  The conditions and the food on the tramp ships was terrible and many were death traps.

      They fought for and got better conditions but couldnt see which was the wind was blowing and have gone down with the dinosaurs.

    • niggly

      Chris seems to have this thing about the 1951 lockout – he refers to that frequently over the years/decades etc.

      Never mind that he was probably a wee tot running around in diapers at the time but obviously it was a momentus occassion in the history of port unionism (and granted the Govt of the day’s decrees were excessive like it being an offence to help the strikers and the like) but I’m rather tired of him trying to link modern day port industrial action with those times.

      Those times were much harsher … today’s situation is a picnic in the park with the bosses in comparision.

      So much so if the strikers from 1951 could be teleported to 2012 I suspect they’d think Parsloe and MUNZ were a bunch of whinning pussies.

  • Yes I always notice that the average man in the 1920’s and 30’s wore a suit when they went out in the street.
    We have dropped our standards

  • grumpy


    ” Today we have the best selection of pie-gutted slobs ever to decorate themselves with ethnic tattoo’s and hi-vis vests.”

    Best comment so far……..

    • ConwayCaptain

      I would like to see the wharfies that we have seen on TV recently go a do what their predecessors did.

      Sling cargo from the far end of a hold and get it out.  Load 200kg bales of woll all day in the heat.  Load lamb/beef/mutton/dairy etc by hand in hold that were well below freezing.

      They in the main worked hard and were great blokes to deal with.  Unfortunately to get a job as a wharfie you had to be a member of the union and it went to sons and brothers.  So in this day and age you have a bunch of inbred idiots who thought that they had a job for life.

      Donkeys lead by donkeys who could not and would not see how the world was changing.

  • parorchestia

    Trotter doesn’t recognise that the union movement has changed in a fundamental way.  There are good unions who have kept up with the demands of modern life and who give excellent service to their employees – their members.    I believe an engineering union has attracted favourable comment from POAL.  They serve their members needs well and work with the employers to achieve beneficial ends.  

    So the task for now is to clear out all the unions which behave as though there still was a bitter class struggle and replace them with modern and effective unions who can work amicably and profitably with management to garner benefits for all: shareholders, workers and consumers.  Chris doesn’t seem to understand that companies are what their  appellation states: they are companies of people working for a mutually beneficial purpose.

    Chris dreams of a time gone by where things were rosy and good; pretty birds and butterflies adorned the skies, and workers were united and held their banners aloft.   Muscular workers marched together throwing down greedy capitalists, righting wrongs and getting better wages.  My memories are starkly different to his.   But then I was brought up in the working class. Now, according to him, we have nothing but one-dimensional people.  What arrogance.  What crap.

  • JL

    Yes Conway Capt, some conditions were tough, but don’t forget they got stoop money if the bulkhead was too low, cold money if it was too cold, hot money if it was too hot, a bonus off every ship after it left port, and 2 guys out of every gang didn’t work for 25% of the time but got paid. And don’t forget the “perks” in the form of pilfering. I was young but witnessed it with my own eyes.