Lyttelton Port Company (LPC) - Media Release
LPC asks Union to extend withdrawal of strike notices through to Tuesday 20 March
LPC has asked the Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU) to extend the withdrawal of its strike notices through to Tuesday 20 March.
This follows the Union withdrawing strike notices for this Thursday and Friday (March 15 – 16).
LPC Operations Manager Paul Monk acknowledges that the Union’s withdrawn of strike notices for the next two days is a gesture of good will but says it has come too late to have normal shipping diverted back to the Port for Thursday and Friday.
“Unfortunately, due to the late timing of this offer by the Union, it is too late to have normal shipping return. To effectively reduce the disruption caused to shipping lines, exporters and importers the withdrawal of strike notices needs to extend to Tuesday (March 20) so shipping can come back to the Port.
“We have had overwhelming customer feedback that the Union’s previous withdrawal of strike notices came too late for them to divert shipping back to Lyttelton.
“This is why we have today asked RMTU to extend the withdrawal of its strike notices to Tuesday 20 March.
“We believe an extension of the strike withdrawal notices would genuinely demonstrate goodwill towards Canterbury’s exporters and importers and allow some meaningful shipping to occur.
“LPC has offered to pay the RMTU members who would be rostered to work on the days strike notices are withdrawn, even though during the first few days there may be no work for them as there may be no ships in Port to service.
“To give shipping lines sufficient time to make decisions about diverting to Lyttelton Port, we have asked the RMTU to confirm by mid afternoon whether it will withdraw strike notices for the extended period we have requested (Thursday 15 March to Tuesday 20 March).
“While we realise this does not resolve the dispute, and uncertainty would remain beyond 20 March, the withdrawal of strike notices from the 15th to 20th March would be a positive development in moving towards settling the dispute.
“We have agreed with RMTU’s request for further mediation either Thursday or Friday.
“We look forward to a response from RMTU this afternoon to our offer.”
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