Fury after port worker's details leaked to blogger

Ports of Auckland. Photo / Brett Phibbs
Ports of Auckland. Photo / Brett Phibbs

Unions are accusing Ports of Auckland of "corporate thuggery" after the leak of a striking worker's private records to a right-wing blogger.

The employment records of wharf worker Cecil Walker, who has spoken out against the port, have been published by Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater.

Mr Walker was given nearly 21 weeks off work in 2007 and 2008 as his wife was terminally ill.

The Maritime Union and the Council of Trade Unions are claiming Mr Walker's records could only have been issued by Ports of Auckland.

CTU president Helen Kelly said the release was an attempt to intimidate striking workers amid a bitter four month dispute with port management.

"This amounts to the worst form of corporate thuggery. It is clear to us that Ports of Auckland is deliberately sending information to the blogger as part of its PR campaign against the workers. It is an obvious attempt to try and intimidate its workforce.

"I would also be interested to hear from other businesses whether they think this sort of behaviour is appropriate in negotiations."

The Maritime Union has made a privacy complaint to Ports of Auckland.

It is seeking an apology and a guarantee no further contact will be made between the Port and Mr Slater.

The union's Auckland secretary Russell Mayn said Mr Walker had been left devastated by the release of his private employment records.

"I have some real concerns about it - this has been devastating for our member. This was a tragic situation for his family, losing his wife and for the children losing their mother," Mr Mayn told Radio New Zealand.

Mr Mayn said Mr Walker's personal life has nothing to do with the industrial action, and its publication reignites the heartache for him.

"For this to be raised on a website that is dealing with his own private information regarding a family tragedy, I just see this as nothing but - to use the company's words and the words that have been bandied about - thuggery and intimidation, in its highest form."

Ports of Auckland told Radio New Zealand it would investigate.

- Herald Online staff

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