After two years the union caves and declares victory at Ports of Auckland

More than two years have elapsed since the Maritime Union led by old crusty dinosaur Garry Parsloe brought the Ports of Auckland to a standstill.

Their demands were to work less for more money, despite eye-wateringly generous payments for the little work they did already.

It was die in?the?ditch stuff for them, and they held strong right up until they caved and agreed to the terms released by the arbitrator two years ago.

As expected, Maritime Union members have ratified a collective employment agreement with Ports of Auckland.

A stop-work meeting of members unanimously voted in favour of the new collective employment agreement first thing this morning.

Maritime Union National President Garry Parsloe says the new agreement is a positive step for workers at the Ports of Auckland that should ensure the continued success of the port.

Ports of Auckland chief executive Tony Gibson concurs.

?We are obviously pleased and look forward to working with the Maritime Union to deliver even more for the people of Auckland,? he says.

The agreement between the port company and the union will be signed off today.

Parsloe has declared victory…but it was a victory his members could have had two years ago. ?

The dispute goes back to strikes in 2012, and industrial action prior which caused widespread disruptions to the Auckland economy. The striking MUNZ workers weren’t just hurting themselves they were hurting all Auckland businesses.

This acrimonious dispute had gone to facilitation, and back in January 2013 Ports of Auckland accepted the facilitators recommendations, while MUNZ aid that the recommendations ?were a good place to negotiate from?.

Since then there has been a lot of work behind the scenes, but not much had?changed in the requirements and recommendations from the facilitator. The MUNZ officials weren’t gaining anything even though they had antagonistically?declared that the facilitators reccommendations were just a good start.

MUNZ itself has had?to work on the expectations of some individuals who have been delaying settlement.?Which was made incredibly difficult since most of those with heightened expectations were in fact the leaders of the union.

It appears that there may have been some easing of the dinosaurs, with potentially some changes in the future. Rumours have it this just needed to be signed off for the biggest dinosaur of all to declare a face-saving victory before his retirement. Of course the union changes will be slow, after all it has taken two years just to process the acceptance of what was effectively a reasonable recommendation with little or no changes tot he actual terms.

Meanwhile?MUNZ membership has continued to decline, ironically boost PortPro the alternate union.

What this all means though was MUNZ and their die in a ditch approach has seen them gain almost nothing of their outrageous demands, and lose membership along the way through their pedestrian attitude and intransigence.

Instead of lauding Garry Parsloe an the great saviour of the workers they should be running him out of town on a rail for assisting in the destruction of his union. The reduced membership numbers mean that MUNZ after the dispute is a much weaker organisation.

I doubt the union could ever mount another strike like the last such is the damage.

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