Statement from LPC
Lyttelton Port has today received a further notice of strike action for 26 April to 29 April by the Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU) for approximately 11 Marine staff. Strike action by this small group will close the Port.
LPC will therefore pay none of RMTU’s 191 members for the days – or any other day(s) the Company receives a strike notice for.
LPC Chief Executive Peter Davie says the Company has no option but to take this course of action.
“What is particularly disruptive about the strike notice served today is that it is for only a very small number of RMTU members – just approximately 11 of its 191 members at the Port. The approximate 11 striking RMTU members operate the launch which delivers our pilots to vessels when they arrive at the head of the harbour and must have pilot guidance to reach our Port.
When the RMTU members who operate the launch go on strike, the Pilots can’t reach the vessels so ships cannot get in or out of the Port. That means there is no shipping. The approximate 180 RMTU members not striking know that. They intend to come to work, do nothing and get paid.
“This tactic will not work.
“I want to make this very clear. The RMTU strike notice may be for only approximately 11 of its members but none of its 191 members will be paid for any day for which we receive a strike notice.
“We are taking this step as a direct response to the Union’s tactic of causing maximum disruption to customers and businesses in the region while trying to ensure its members don’t lose money.
“The Union has refused our very generous offer which is well above inflation.
This offer is well above recent RMTU settlements with other New Zealand Ports.
“The dispute is about only one thing – the RMTU wants a better settlement than the other major Union at our Port – the Maritime Union of New Zealand (MUNZ).
“The RMTU claims it wants the same offer we made MUNZ – but it has rejected it. The RMTU members want the same salary increases as MUNZ but they will not make the roster changes MUNZ agreed to as part of their offer.
“RMTU members have already lost more pay than their negotiators can possibly recover for them – and the longer the Union refuses our offer the more its members will lose.
“Meanwhile the Union’s tactics are causing significant disruption to shipping lines, importers, exporters and our region.
“We remain committed to resolving the dispute but do not see any justification for amending our very generous offer.”