Lyttelton Port offers striking union equal pay for equal work
Lyttelton Port Company is offering members of the Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU) equal pay for equal work.
LPC Operations Manager Paul Monk says the Company agrees with the RMTU that Port staff who do the same work should receive the same pay.
“We have offered RMTU the same salary increases as received by the members of the other major Union at our Port, the Maritime Union of New Zealand (MUNZ), who a year ago accepted roster changes which allow better servicing of vessels.
“The RMTU wants the same pay increases MUNZ received but refuses to make the roster changes MUNZ members have. MUNZ members received a 4% salary increase this year and 3% for each of the next two years. RMTU members want the same money but without being prepared to accept the same rosters accepted by their colleagues.
“Confronted with this, we dropped our request for them to make the roster changes MUNZ accepted and have offered them a 3% salary increase each year for three years – at a time when inflation is only 1.6%. This generous offer to what is already a well-paid workforce remains on the table.
‘We cannot agree to their having a salary advantage over their MUNZ Union colleagues at the Port. That would be unfair. It would not be equal pay for equal work. It would severely disadvantage the 200 staff at our Port who are MUNZ members.
“RMTU claims to want pay parity with their MUNZ Union colleagues when they are really demanding an unfair advantage over them.
“The RMTU won’t budge even though they are fully aware shipping lines, exporters and importers are bearing the cost of the huge disruption resulting from their industrial action.
“The RMTU has maximised disruption with its short notice withdrawal of previous strike notices. This action ensured it would be too late for shipping lines to change plans and divert back to the Port.
“We are working hard with our customers to try and minimise the impact of RMTU strikes closing the Port again (21-25 March).
“Even if they withdrew strike notices for next week right now it would likely be too late for ships to divert to Lyttelton during the strike period.
“We are reiterating our advice to the Union that if they withdraw the strike notices for next week (21 to 25 March) there will be no work for many of their members and therefore no pay for them on those days.
“In yesterday’s mediation the RMTU requested negotiation details be kept confidential. We agreed and honoured this. However, on emerging from mediation the RMTU gave extensive comment about negotiations to the media. Much of the Union comment did not fairly or accurately reflect our position and we therefore feel it is important our position be clarified by this statement.
“LPC is being fair and reasonable in its position and remains committed to resolving the dispute in spite of the disappointing and disruptive actions of the Union.”