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Rally tomorrow for Auckland dockers
9 March 2012
Wharfies (dockers), their families and supporters will rally in Auckland tomorrow to defend jobs at the city’s port. The event has been called after news this week that the port’s management is going to try and make 320 workers redundant.
ITF dockers’ section secretary Frank Leys will be among those speaking, and will pledge the organisation’s support for the endangered workers.
He will tell them that all they have asked for is a fair deal and in return they have received “privatisation, casualisation and job insecurity from a management that has shied away from good faith negotiation and instead embraced confrontation with its own workforce”.
He will continue: “This dispute is a major turning point for trade union relations in New Zealand just like Liverpool in the UK, Patrick’s in Australia and Ports Package 1 and 2 for Europe. We are standing on the edge of a change which would mean disaster for future generations of workers. Employment with no security, no benefits and no rights to trade union protection. We can’t let that change happen.”
He will go on to promise that “400,000 dockers want the workers of Auckland to know they are not alone in this fight. They will not stand idle when their brothers and sisters are under siege. They are protesting in their ports, they are contacting their New Zealand embassies, they are letting the world know that this fight is far from over and when you take on dockers at the Ports of Auckland you take on dockers all over the world. We stand by your side in this dispute and your call for a fair deal will not be silenced.”
Earlier this week ITF president and dockers’ section chair Paddy Crumlin declared that managements’ actions had now made Auckland ‘a port of convenience’. This, he explained, “can have real consequences in how dockers worldwide react to these cargoes. And it can have consequences among seafarers, among shipping companies looking for ports where they will find efficient and co-operative loading and unloading, and potentially even among customers of New Zealand goods”.
For more details of the rally see www.saveourport.com. For more about the international support for Auckland’s wharfies see www.itfglobal.org/solidarity/solidarity-3502.cfm
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