Ports dispute turns bitter

  • 26/02/2012

Accusations of blacklisting threats and vandalism are now flying in the strike at Ports of Auckland, with both the port and union accusing each other of dirty tricks.

About 300 port workers started their three-week strike on Friday over the Auckland Council-owned port's moves to change to more flexible contracts.

Port company chief Tony Gibson wrote in a bulletin to customers that as they prepared to walk out on Friday barbecues were urinated in and mess-room facilities vandalised, The New Zealand Herald reported.

"The barbecues have been urinated in, the Sky (TV) decoder in the mess room has been taken, the pool table and ping-pong table damaged," he wrote.

The alleged vandalism "goes to the heart of the culture here that must change".

The Maritime Union says it knows nothing about the damage and president Garry Parsloe said Mr Gibson was trying to distract the public.

"We're paying $750,000 a year to him to do what? Go around looking at billiard balls and TV sets. Rome's f***ing burning and he's worrying about a TV set?"

Meanwhile, Pacific International Lines says it diverted the container vessel, Kokta Permasan Tauranga, after the Maritime Union threatened to blacklist the company if it unloaded at Auckland, Radio New Zealand reported.

Mr Parsloe said the shipping line may be responding to pressure from international unions.

Ports of Auckland says making such threats is unlawful and it will investigate legal action against the union.


source: newshub archive