The Maritime Union of New Zealand is gearing up for its 330 Auckland workers to be made redundant after the port management outlined its plan to hire outside contractors at a formal consultation this morning.
MUNZ President Garry Parsloe said the requests for proposal (RFPs) outlined this morning factored in the majority of union workers being made redundant if the outsourcing plan goes ahead. While Ports of Auckland stressed the decision was not definite, Parsloe said their actions seemed to speak otherwise.
"It seems a significant waste of energy and money on their part if they weren't," he told BusinessDesk.
Ports spokeswoman Catherine Etheredge said the meeting was a chance for management to outline its vision for the proposal.
The union has previously said it would give another strike notice if the proposal for outside contracting was continued. Parsloe said no decision had been made with the ports set to offer more information on Monday.
"We haven't got the strategy sorted yet, but we won't cop it sitting down" Parsloe said.
At the same time as this morning's meeting, another meeting was taking place in London made up of various union and maritime workers groups, who discussed the dispute at Ports of Auckland and the prospect of declaring Auckland a 'port of convenience'.
President of the International Transport Workers Federation Paddy Crumlin told NewstalkZB they're concerned about what's going on in Auckland.
"We've determined, unless they change their mind, we're going to declare Auckland a port of convenience which give it special attention both politically and industrially, and financially I guess,'' he said.
The 'port of convenience' campaign has been used by the ITF to highlight international ports it believes create major obstacles to achieving decent working conditions for wharfies through privatisation, casualisation and a lack of union trade rights.
A sixth 24-hour strike, starting Jan 31, was called off Wednesday night after ports agreed to let MUNZ hold a stop-work meeting for four hours on the same day.