RMTU REFUSES PARITY WITH OTHER LYTTELTON PORT UNION - STRIKE STARTS MIDNIGHT
Lyttelton Port Company’s offer of parity with the other major Union at the Port has been refused by the Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU) which will begin striking at midnight tonight. RMTU is striking from 21 to 25 March inclusive.
LPC’s Operations Manager, Paul Monk, says RMTU does not want parity with the other major Union at the Port, the Maritime Union of New Zealand (MUNZ) – it wants an unfair advantage over it.
“RMTU members want the same salary increase their MUNZ colleagues received but without making the roster changes MUNZ accepted a year ago.
“RMTU claims there’s a safety issue associated with the new roster agreed to by their MUNZ colleagues.
“MUNZ members have had no safety issues since they took it on. MUNZ is fine with it.
“The RMTU wants the same money as MUNZ but they don’t want to work the new roster – they don’t want to do equal work.
“We want to stop the enormous disruption the RMTU strikes will have on shipping lines, importers and exporters. For this reason, we have dropped our request for them to make any roster changes. We have offered them a salary rise of 3% a year each year for three years, with no changes to their roster or the way they work.
“We have made a generous offer to what is a well paid workforce which already receives well above the average Kiwi’s wage.
“That offer is just 1% less than their MUNZ colleagues received. RMTU is hanging out for that extra 1%. They want the extra money without agreeing to the roster changes MUNZ made. This is not parity.
“When the strike begins at midnight tonight our container wharves will be empty. The wharves will remain empty right through to the end of Saturday. Shipping is the lifeblood of our region’s trade. Lyttelton Port manages over half the South Island’s container volume. The RMTU strikes will stop the Port’s heart beat.
“We are committed to resolving the dispute and we remain prepared to reach a settlement with the RMTU but we are faced with a Union that will not budge on any of its demands.”