LPC strikes begin Thursday
Lyttelton Port Company (LPC) has today been advised by the Employment Court that its application has been declined for an interim injunction to prevent strikes proceeding at the Port by the Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU).
This means the RMTU strike will begin at Lyttelton Port on Thursday.
Lyttelton Port has received strike notices issued by RMTU for thirteen consecutive days from 8 March to 20 March inclusive.
LPC Operations Manager Paul Monk says the Port is very disappointed that the 201 members of RMTU are proceeding with the strikes.
“Their strikes will cause significant disruption to our customers and if they proceed with the industrial action for more than a week, as they are threatening to do, then shortages of some critical supplies will begin to occur which will affect the region.
“Due to the nature of international shipping we have advised LPC staff who are RMTU members that if their strike notices are withdrawn with less than seven days notice it is likely there will not be work available for some of them, as shipping will already have been diverted from Lyttelton.
“We are offering RMTU members at least a 3% salary increase a year for three years and the changes we are seeking are not substantial.
“LPC’s offer is comparable to our settlement last year with the 201 members of the Maritime Union of New Zealand (MUNZ), the other major Union at our Port.
“The roster LPC has proposed to RMTU has been safely and efficiently worked for the last year by MUNZ members at the Port and they have experienced no fatigue issues associated with it.
“LPC has been working collaboratively for more than three months with RMTU and the other Unions at our Port to discuss fatigue management and ensure any issues are safely managed.
“Our offer to RMTU members is well in excess of settlements in other ports that the RMTU has already agreed to. We want the industrial dispute resolved but RMTU’s salary increase demands are unreasonable and unacceptable.”
Mediation is set for Wednesday 7 March.