Ports director resigns over 'difference in views'

By Hayden Donnell

Protesters march as part of Ports of Auckland industrial action earlier this month. Photo / Doug Sherring
Protesters march as part of Ports of Auckland industrial action earlier this month. Photo / Doug Sherring

A Ports of Auckland director has resigned after clashing with his fellow board members amid a bitter industrial dispute with union-affiliated wharfies.

Company chairman Richard Pearson today confirmed Rob Campbell had tendered his resignation over a "difference in views on board strategies".

The board would not make any more comment on the matter, he said.

Campbell was appointed to the ports board in December 2010.

He has on the boards of several companies including NZ Post and the Accident Compensation Corporation and as a trustee on the Auckland City Mission Foundation.

His resignation comes as Ports of Auckland and the Maritime Union square off in the Employment Court over their long running industrial dispute.

The union is arguing the port's early-March decision to contract out 292 union members' work to contracted stevedores was unlawful.

Justice Barry Travis has issued an injunction against the action until mid-May.

There was a "seriously arguable" case that deciding to contract out the workers' jobs undermined bargaining on a new collective agreement, while bargaining was still underway, his decision said.

Yesterday, 195 union members came to the port to accept its offer of a week's pay while issues around a return to work were before the court.

In a statement, the company said that was fewer than expected.

The port said the need remained for modern, flexible work practices to significantly increase productivity at its container terminals.

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