MEDIA RELEASE - LYTTELTON PORT COMPANY’S GENEROUS OFFER TO STOP STRIKES REFUSED BY UNION
7 March 2018
Lyttelton Port Company (LPC) is very disappointed that the generous offer it made the Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU) today during mediation has been refused.
LPC Operations Manager Paul Monk said the Company entered mediation today positively focused on providing an offer it hoped would settle the dispute and stop the strike action by RMTU at the Port.
“We offered RMTU members a 3% salary increase for three years with no changes to their terms and conditions of work. This means we are no longer asking for the roster changes that would allow the Port to offer customers more flexibility in servicing vessels.
“Because our new offer asks for no changes to their roster there can be no concerns about any roster associated fatigue or safety issues.
“We believe our salary increase offer of 3% a year for three years for them to continue working as they already do is very generous, particularly as it is well above the current rate of inflation (1.6%) and compares favourably with other recent contract settlements in New Zealand.
“Following mediation today, RMTU has withdrawn its strike notices from Friday 9 March to Monday 12 March inclusive. Strike notices remain in place for the period 13-21 March.
“The uncertainty around these strike notices will continue to cause significant disruption for our customers and the region.
“We are working with our customers to see if they are able to readjust their shipping schedules to bring cargo and vessels back to the Port during the period the strike notices have been withdrawn. Due to the international nature of shipping and based on discussions with customers to date we think there may be only limited options.
“We have previously advised RMTU members that if their strike notices are withdrawn with less than seven days notice it is likely there will not be work available for some of them, as shipping will already have been diverted from Lyttelton.
“Therefore there is likely to be no work for a number of the RMTU members for the period during which the strike notices have been withdrawn.
“LPC remains genuinely committed to resolving the industrial situation but RMTU’s inflexibility in its demands is challenging given our very generous offer to its members today.
“We anticipate meeting with RMTU again early next week.”