PortPro

Is MUNZ washed up in Auckland?

ports-of-auckland

I’m told that yesterday the Maritime Union ended their petulant and vindictive attack on PortPro (the second wharfies unions) via the Employment Court.

MUNZ was trying to oppose the legitimacy of workers dis-satisfied with MUNZ from setting up their own union.

In an ignominious withdrawal from proceedings MUNZ have pulled the plug on the latest court case against PortPro and offered to pay $750 in court costs. After some negotiation it was agreed that they pay $1250. This is not even a tenth of the actual costs their petty and vindictive action has actually cost PortPro.  Read more »

A milestone MUNZ is trying to destroy

Yesterday was a milestone.

It was the first birthday of PortPro the alternate union on the Auckland Waterfront. Well done guys. Competition is always good.

Unless of course you are the Maritime Union. They are trying very hard through constant legal battles to bankrupt PortPro. Shows what a nasty spiteful bunch they are.  Read more »

MUNZ gets its beans from the Employment Relations Authority

The nasty bully-boys at the Maritime Union took the new union down at Ports of Auckland (PortPro) to the Employment Relations Authority, challenging their right to exist as a union.

They kept their action very quiet, normally they are leaking to their embedded mates at the Herald the moment they do these things. There is a good reason they kept it quiet though…they lost.

[29] Accordingly I determine that the Rules of the Respondent having been deemed to be compliant at the time of registration by the Registrar, there are no grounds for the Authority to make an order in accordance with s 17(2) of the Act directing the Registrar to cancel Portpro’s registration as a union on the basis that the Rules are not compliant with s 14(1)(a) of the Act.

Costs
[30] Costs are reserved pending the final determination of the matter.

I hope MUNZ gets slammed with substantial costs for their anti-competitive bully boy tactics.

[Source document pdf]

PortPro – The “New Union on the Block” – Opinion by the Owl

As MUNZ and the NZCTU run around claiming underhand tactics (“ruse”) on the formation of the new PortPro Union is wanting to negotiate with the ports management (POAL) – a number of interesting issues come to mind.

I wrote many months ago about how Union members pay MUNZ to represent them – secure employment conditions and in particular provide a service. I made the observation that a Union member could indeed take the service provider (in this case MUNZ) to task if the failed to achieve their outcome.

I linked it to the classic contract wording of “offer and acceptance”.

PortPro is a new competitor on the wharf in “Unionland”. They saw an opportunity and decided to build a business around it. What are they offering? – I am assuming “Employment Service Advice”

The general public tends to use the word “Union” – but reality is that a “Union” is an “Employment Service Advice Agency”.

PortPro have 33 members (according to the NZ Herald Report) – or once again shall we call them 33 clients.

Most people in business know that getting 33 clients on day one is a major achievement. In my business I had to give away countless free products before I secured my first full paying customer.

More importantly PortPro is going to advise its clients how to get the best deal in the marketplace, best employment advice and overall secure long-term contracts. One would assume PortPro have sent out details about what they want to achieve and the services they provide. 33 people have decided to become customers or clients.

Even if MUNZ settles with POAL and holds the head collective agreement, the sharp point of this move by PortPro is there is a “new union on the block”. I cannot give a better example of what a “new competitor does” by referring you to the Telco industry – Telecom versus, Vodafone versus 2 Degrees.

There is also the classic story of Virgin Airways and British Airways when the new Virgin airline was set up.

Both examples went through very interesting court cases and parliament stages before the industries were deregulated or as some would say – more regulated.

Telecom spent years in court defending their position and then Parliament split Telecom up.

BAA and Virgin spent years in court with BAA defending strongly their position and then the aviation industry was overhauled by Parliament in England.

The Owl predicts that PortPro is the start of many new Unions to spring up which focuses on Employment Services (and Health and Safety – I do agree H & S is paramount, it is just whether you use it for political reasons) – there may even be a court battle and possibly intervention by Parliament.

For me the most interesting point and I think it will only be resolved in court will be if PortPro is allowed the freedom of speech on the wharf which the Unions have desperately sought in getting accountability on the wharf by the POAL Management and demanding good employer processes.

PortPro now challenges those assertions and tests whether a good employer will allow two unions to operate at one site. Many businesses have multi-union sites so precedence has been set.

New union on the Port

There is a new union on the port, set up to provide competition against the old bully boy union thugs of the Maritime Union.

Ports of Auckland is to open negotiations today with a new union of non-striking workers, raising alarm in the Council of Trade Unions.

CTU president Helen Kelly suspects the creation of the new organisation, PortPro, is “a ruse” to sideline the established Maritime Union and set new working conditions while its dispute with the port remains unsettled.

That is denied by the company and PortPro chairman, veteran wharfie and former Maritime Union member Grant Lane, who said his purpose was purely to protect the positions of 33 stevedoring employees who worked through the earlier disruption and “had a gutsful” of the old union.

Port spokeswoman Dee Radhakrishnan said there had been no company involvement in setting up the new body, but it was legally obliged to respond to the group’s bargaining overtures.

Helen Kelly has stuck her nose on and suggested that a new union is highly suspicious…strange behaviour from a life long unionist to oppose a new union. Obviously she doesn;t think that the new union is militant enough or destructive enough to meet her tough standards.

Maybe the 33 workers who have joined the new union are just simply fed up with the intransigence of Garry Parsloe and the Maritime Union.