The beginning of the end of the Maritime Union

Yesterday saw the beginning of the end of the Maritime Union’s dominance in the Ports of Auckland.

While MUNZ was having a BBQ to celebrate the end of their war, which they think is ?victory (their contract has run out as has the mandatory 12 month extension), a new union has been formed and signed a flexible work agreement with the Port.

Ports of Auckland has signed a collective agreement with new PortPro Union representing about 30 non-striking workers.

The agreement does not affect the ongoing dispute between the port and the Maritime Union, which is holding a barbeque in Auckland this afternoon to show the public its employment dispute is far from over.

PortPro was set up recently by former Maritime Union member Grant Lane, who wanted to offer non-striking stevedores an alternative.

PoAL ceo Tony Gibson, who is away in United States, says in a statement the agreement runs for two and a half years.

It offers workers a “flexible shift and roster system” similar to what has been in place at Port of Tauranga.

“If we can get a deal like this across all the port we will be able to compete with Tauranga on level footing,” the statement says.

PoAL spin doctor Matt Ball would not give specifics of the deal, but says it is similar to the one the Maritime Union has rejected.

Make no mistake this is the beginning of the end of the Maritime Union’s dominance down on?the?port. The damage their strike action caused has turned the port into a desert. There will be job losses, and the ones to go will be those on expired contracts i.e. Maritime Union staff. Garry Parsloe, mind, will still be getting paid as his workers get the sack.

The Maritime Union and their tame flunkies in the media all thought that they had won when they found they had a activist judge prepared to throw judicial precedent under the bus. The Port wisely withdrew from court action and circled the wagons…now Richard Pearson, who has dealt with far more fearsome people in ports around the world, has laid down a royal flush to Garry Parlsoe’s pair of twos.

The union stupidly ?spent all their energy focussing on demonising Tony Gibson and let Richard Pearson quietly work his magic in?the?background.

Watch the battle move to a new phase now, one which the Port will?ultimately?win, simply because they had patience and recognised that sometimes in a war you lose some battles.