Christchurch Scoop

Timaru Port Workers Issue Seventh Strike Notice

Press Release – Rail And Maritime Transport Union

Members of the Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU) working at the Port of Timaru have this afternoon issued a seventh strike notice following on from the six issued to date.

RMTU South Island Organiser John Kerr says this gives notice of a further 24 hour strike on Wednesday 22st December, following on from those notified for Thursday 16th December, Friday 17th December, Saturday 18th December, Sunday 19th December, Monday 20 December and Tuesday 21 December.

‘Members have voted for strike action on any day or days through to Christmas Eve and although we have a potential date for mediated negotiations on 10th December this needs to confirmed by MBIE. We’ve said we’re prepared to meet earlier but the employers are saying they aren’t available until the 10th. Accordingly we have decided to issue a further notice today.

‘The RMTU has been in negotiations for a Multi-Employer Collective Agreement (MECA) with Prime Port Timaru and Quality Marshalling since May and the employers have made it clear they would prefer not to enter into a MECA and have countered our claim for an 8% pay increase with offers that are below the current rate of inflation. We remain hopeful we can reach an agreement in the two weeks before industrial action is due to commence as there is quite a bit of shipping scheduled around the strike period.’’

‘As essential workers who have kept cargo moving across the wharves throughout this pandemic our members do feel it is time their efforts were recognized however .’

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