Ports of Auckland has reached a quick-fire collective employment agreement with a new union which the Council of Trade Unions suspects it had a hand in setting up.
Less than an hour before the established Maritime Union was due to rally at the waterfront yesterday to remind the public of its year-long pay dispute, the company announced it had signed a 2 year deal with the new PortPro union just nine days after starting negotiations. The company denies it set up the union.
"The new deal is a partnership which rewards both sides - it delivers a productive and cost-effective outcome for the port, and well-paid jobs for PortPro members," said chief executive Tony Gibson. "Ports of Auckland wishes to thank PortPro for the positive and constructive way they approached bargaining, which has been completed efficiently and without disruption."
Mr Gibson did not disclose details of the new deal with PortPro, which is claiming 33 members who worked during months of strikes by more than 200 Maritime Union wharfies, except to say it included a flexible shift and roster system similar to what had been in place at the Port of Tauranga for more than 20 years.
Maritime Union president Garry Parsloe told the rally of almost 100 workers and supporters, including Labour and Green MPs and Auckland Council member Cathy Casey, that the port was claiming to have "got everything they asked for" from PortPro. "That's exactly what we don't want," he said.