The Tory Templar | Issue 5

On Ports of Auckland

The Maritime Union and Ports of Auckland are at odds over the Portís insistence on more flexible working hours, and the unionís insistence that this provides too much uncertainty for staff and is inherently unfair. What to do? Strike, apparently.

If even a hardcore lefty such as Auckland Mayor Len Brown is saying that the companyís first offer (in September!) should have been accepted, you know that the unions donít have a leg to stand on. The offer would have given the workers a 2.5% increase in pay each year for the next three. The Union rejected this offer, which was a generous one considering that reports suggest workers earn over $90,000 a year for about 26 hours of work a week. If thatís what they earn Iíll take their job.

Though several offers have been made to the Ports of Auckland workers the company has finally lost patience and realised it couldnít afford to have workers getting paid for doing no work. Considering that the ports have already lost the lucrative business of Fonterra they have been more than considerate. If you want to spend your time striking rather than doing your job there are plenty of people out there who need one, so donít complain when they take yours.

The unions say changing people from being permanent staff to part-time means that their families couldnít plan things. This is at the very least clever manoeuvring of the facts to suit the unionís case and at the most an outright lie. The Ports have stated they would roster workers on for 160 hours a month delivering said roster a month in advance. If you canít plan that far ahead the Templar suggests you shouldnít be in involved in an industry that connects New Zealand to the world, try something a little less strenuous.

If workers want to blame someone for losing their jobs they should look no further than their beloved union. If you think a union has your best interests at heart, the Templar has some sad news to deliver: They donít. Unions function to serve union bosses and couldnít give a toss about their members.

Maybe this will teach people that unions are no good, and striking is as dumb an idea as they come. Now go re-apply for those jobs, get off your arse and do some work. Oh and while youíre at it tell that bloody union of yours to get stuffed. Thereís no better advice than that.

The Tory Templar
This article first appeared in Issue 5, 2012.
Posted 4:26pm Sunday 25th March 2012 by The Tory Templar.