13 Mar 2012

Fewer workers on picket line

5:20 pm on 13 March 2012

Just a small group of striking workers were on the picket line outside the Ports of Auckland's main container ship terminal on Tuesday morning.

About 300 Maritime Union members were last week made redundant as the port company moved to contract out their jobs.

Several striking workers on Monday extended the picket line to the wharves along Auckland's waterfront, blocking linesmen and boat pilots from getting to the Wynyard Quarter to help an arriving cruise ship. Their presence on Tuesday was much smaller, however.

Meanwhile Labour Minister Kate Wilkinson says she is disappointed that Ports of Auckland and the Maritime Union have failed to reach a resolution over the terms of a new collective agreement.

She says her department's chief mediator has been involved since the dispute began, but the department no longer has any formal mediation planned.

Ms Wilkinson says neither party has asked the Government to intervene and she has not been persuaded that there are any deficiencies in the legislation or regime requiring amendment.

The Maritime Union has filed an injunction in the Employment Court to stop Ports of Auckland continuing with its redundancy plans.