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Issue 7 • October 2004 Magazine of the Maritime Union of New Zealand ISSN 1176-3418 Port roundups • World Maritime Day • Toll to the Dole Free trade or slave trade? • Third World labour scam International news • Port Security • Training and education Union Power! Fighting against casualization

The Maritimes October 2004

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The official magazine of the Maritime Union of New Zealand

Text of The Maritimes October 2004

  • Issue 7 October 2004 Magazine of the Maritime Union of New Zealand ISSN 1176-3418

    Port roundups World Maritime Day Toll to the Dole Free trade or slave trade? Third World labour scam

    International news Port Security Training and education

    Union Power!Fighting against casualization

  • Maritime Union making waves

    by Trevor Hanson General Secretary

    The Maritime Union has been in the thick of a number of issues lately.

    We seem to live in a fast mov-ing environment these days, and the importance of communicating amongst ourselves has never been greater.

    Industrial FrontThe Union has got in 100% behind

    Auckland Waterfront Branch Local 13 in their dispute with Ports of Auckland.

    The dispute is about our right as workers to permanent secure jobs, a concept that the employer does not seem to understand.

    Further industrial action on the wharf is a possibility at Mt Maunganui with Toll.

    In Wellington, seafarers have already been in conflict with this aggressive multinational employer who has at-tempted to play hard ball by attacking conditions and jobs for our members aboard the Arahura.

    Toll have been opening up fights on several fronts recently with their activi-ties not just in the maritime industry but also against rail workers.

    Unions are beginning to develop an inter-industry, international approach to unite and fight these corporates on their own terms, rather than just try to protect our own patch.

    The Maritime Union will continue to resist any attempt to undermine jobs and conditions for our members.

    Further information on these dis-putes can be found in this edition of the Maritimes, and on our website www.munz.org.nz

    Maritime CampaignThe Maritime Campaign wound up

    in July and it is fair to say we had mixed results.

    The Government came out with a disappointing but not unexpected decision against cabotage but is promis-ing some changes in the regulation of New Zealand shipping to promote the industry.

    The campaign drew some attention in the media and I believe that by con-tinuing to put the pressure on casualiza-tion we are slowly bringing the issue into the open.

    The alternative of doing nothing is not an option.

    Fishing industry and imported temporary labour

    Some may be wondering why we have recently been supporting the Fishing Industry Guild and others in their struggle against imported foreign labour.

    The fishing industry has in my view over the past 20 or so years exploited the use of foreign labour under the guise of joint venture fishing vessels.

    At the time of the introduction of these joint ventures the industry came out and said that it was the intent of the industry to train New Zealand fisher-men to keep the industry for New Zea-landers. This never eventuated.

    Sure there are trained fishermen, but nowhere near the capacity of the industry.

    The industry utilized joint ventures to the max, covered up with stupid statements that there was no labour available, and that anyway the bunks on these vessels are only made for small Asian workers.

    The philosophy of the fishing compa-nies is first up best dressed or someone else will beat us to the patch in other words live for todays profit, dont worry about tomorrow.

    The industry will continue to act this way unless they are regulated.

    The other problem is that fisher-men are natural hunters, and we have enough previous history to prove what hunters can do to any natural resources especially when the profit motive is the driving force.

    The Maritime Union has gone public since fishing companies have been suc-cessful in their endeavour with Govern-ment to import labour and place them on domestic fishing vessels.

    It is our view shared by others that this is an economic measure aimed at cutting costs in an industry that is suffering a major downturn in fish resources.

    The goal is to cut wages and condi-tions in the fishing industry for the sake of profits.

    The situation is simple: third world workers are caught up in a downward spiral in their attempts to find work.

    Filipino workers are pitted against

    Chinese workers, who are pitted against the next cheapest labour source, and it just keeps on going on.

    The Maritime Union and our mem-bers work on a daily basis on foreign ships with all sorts of workers, many of whom are abused and working on unsafe ships.

    This latest escalation into domestic fishing sends a very clear signal that Governments around the world will not stop the export of labour across borders, in fact they will assist such movements, unless there is strong resistance.

    We will continue our assistance to fishing industry employees by putting pressure on the Government to take ac-count of our concerns.

    The latest phenomenon (and one that is very close to us) is the advent of Ports of Convenience where deunionized, casualised workers are shunted from country to country to break down wages and conditions.

    This should get the warning bells go-ing among all maritime workers.

    The Maritime Union is an interna-tionalist Union, we are on the side of workers, and the blame can only be laid at the feet of employers who seek to at-tack us by divide and rule tactics.

    It is very important the temporary foreign workers already in New Zealand are on conditions and wages compa-rable to New Zealand workers, and they should not be here unless they are.

    There are unemployed people in New Zealand who should have first ac-cess to local jobs, and we must struggle and fight to remove casualization in favour of permanent employment.

    I find it very disappointing that after some 12 years concerted effort by this Union with employers, Governments and their agencies, that we have not been able to remedy the situation in a proper manner.

    This can only come about by strong regulation of our industry.

    Taking all this into account, I am pleased that some more enlightened employers have set in place a pathway to permanent work.

    Elsewhere, it appears that a gloves off approach is the only way forward.

  • The MaritimesEdition 7, October 2004

    ContentsTrevor Hanson Report ............... 2Phil Adams Report .................... 4Auckland strike ....................... 5Overseas labour ..................... 6Port security .......................... 7Taking its Toll: Multinational attacks workers ..... 8Free trade or slave trade ........... 9Ports of Convenience ................ 10World Maritime Day .................. 12Vice Presidents Report ... .... ..... 13ITF Report ............................ 14Self Loading Alert .................... 15Auckland Strike photo special ..... 16International Report ................. 18Port Roundups ........................ 20Obituaries ............................. 28Training and education .............. 29Letters ................................. 30Notices ................................. 31The Back Page ........................ 32

    The Maritimes is the official national magazine of the Maritime Union of New Zealand, published quarterly.

    ISSN 1176-3418

    National Office:PO Box 27004WellingtonNew ZealandTelephone 04 3850 792Fax 04 3848 766Email: [email protected]: www.munz.org.nz

    Edited and designed by Victor BillotEmail: [email protected]

    Editorial Board: Trevor Hanson, Phil Adams and Joe Fleetwood

    Thanks to the photographers and illustrators including Harry Holland, Russell Mayn, Paul Singleton, Mike Williams, Mike Treen, Terry Ryan, Joe Fleetwood, Hector Thorpe, The Fox, Bill Connelly, Sharon Marris and other anonymous contributors.

    Thanks to the ITF, Transport International and the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions for material.

    Cover photo: Maritime Union Auckland Branch Local 13 members picket against casualization outside the Tinley Street Gate entrance to the Ports of Auckland, Wednesday 8 September 2004 Image FOTOPRESS/Phil Walter.

    Trevor Hanson reportcontinued from page 2

    It would help greatly if anybody can come up with the pay rates of the imported fishing labour or any other facts pertaining to their stay, and this ap-plies to any other scams being applied to foreign labour in any other industry.

    In the first instance contact Victor or myself as soon as possible.

    Free TradeThis issue of the Maritimes has an

    article looking at the free trade deals that New Zealand is currently negotiating with Asian nations.

    The Maritime Union has a simple philosophy on free trade we are against it.

    New Zealand is a trading nation and of course as maritime workers we are the people who actually get goods in and out of the country a vital economic link to the rest of the world.

    National OfficeTelephone: 04 3850 792Fax: 04 3848 766Address: PO Box 27004, WellingtonOffice administrator: Valentina GorayEmail: [email protected]

    General Secretary: Trevor HansonDirect dial: 04 801 7614Mobile: 0274 453 532Email: [email protected]

    National President: Phil AdamsDirect dial: 03 4728 052Mobile: 0274 377 601Email: [email protected]

    Contact the Maritime UnionNational Vice President: Joe FleetwoodMobile: 021 364 649Email: [email protected]

    Assistant General Secretary: Terry RyanMobile: 021 186 6643Email: [email protected]

    ITF Inspectorate: Kathy WhelanDirect dial: 04 801 7613Mobile: 021 666 405Email: [email protected]

    Communications Officer: Victor BillotMobile: 021 171 0911Email: [email protected]

    But free trade is just a code word for corporate globalization the system where democratic Governments are now under the sway of the transnational cor-porations who are answerable to no-one but their shareholders.

    The danger is that by getting our-selves enmeshed in a tangled web of free trade agreements New Zealand will no longer be able to determine our own economic and social policies.

    It is a matter that I personally feel very strongly about, and it is obvious to me that most New Zealanders have little or no understanding of where we could end up by going further down the free trade path.

    The alternative is a system of fair trade where the rights and interests of working people, democratic processes and the environment are given priority over corporate interests.

    Enjoy reading your latest edition of the Maritimes.

    No to free trade in workersThe Maritime Union is campaigning against free trade deals that could mean casual, short term labour being imported into New Zealand.

    Secure, permanent jobs and planned training for areas of labour shortage are the only way forward.

    Please sign the letters enclosed with this copy of the Maritimes and get your friends and family to do the same, and send them off to your MP.

    For more information check out www.munz.org.nz on the internet.

  • Resistance to casualization a positive sign

    by Phil Adams National President

    As winter comes to a close, the weather is supposed to be warming up but recent snowfalls in the South have put the lid on that.

    However life in the Maritime Union continues to provide some hot issues.

    Auckland StrikeThe Auckland Branch has taken a

    principled and strong stand over bring-ing forward casual workers into perma-nent secure jobs as permanent members retire and as trade grows.

    The Union is getting behind our Auckland brothers and sisters 100% be-cause every time someone steps forward like they have they improve the situa-tion for all of us.

    The fact we have taken the fight to the heart of New Zealands largest port shows that we can still have an impact, and the reaction from media and indus-try to our actions tells me that we are on the right track. In this game, people only notice you when you make them.

    There is no excuse in the current environment for employers generat-ing massive profits for shareholders to neglect and abuse the rights of their workers.

    One point worth considering if we do not establish permanent jobs and stop casualization in todays economic climate and with todays Government, imagine what chance we will have in an economic downturn under an aggres-sively anti-Union Government.

    We need to learn from the past and use our opportunities to build a secure groundwork to fall back on when the pressure comes on, and as we have all learnt things can always get worse.

    In my home port Port Chalmers we have managed to withstand the on-slaught of casualization due to factors such as limited number of employers, our relationships with those employers, a unified membership and leadership.

    Some ports are in a worse position and aggressive employers have tended to take on the smaller ports where they can start their attacks and work forward to the more secure ports.

    The Auckland dispute has caused the industry to sit up and take notice and I

    believe is an indication that with resolve and unity we can turn casualization on the waterfront around.

    Maritime SecurityThe Maritime Union and the RMTU

    have been meeting with the Govern-ment over the issue of maritime security.

    Our big concern is the processes for waterfront security may be used by employers to undermine our rights for personal privacy.

    Another danger is that security is just becoming a money making scheme for private businesses profiting from a mood of paranoia.

    The Maritime Union continues to strongly put our case: a secure maritime industry is one where a permanent, secure workforce is a priority.

    Continuing to allow the movement of flag of convenience ships, fly by night stevedores with casual workforces, and a cost-cutting mentality that puts the worker last all these undermine our security and should be at the top of the agenda, not compulsory invasions of privacy by employers on workers.

    The Union is also looking into the introduction of x-ray machines in New Zealand ports and the implications for health and privacy for workers.

    South Island Secretaries MeetingSouth Island officials met in Timaru

    in September to discuss a number of issues including the long standing ques-tion of a South Island organizer.

    The meeting provided us with an opportunity to discuss regional issues and build communication and unity between our South Island ports that are geographically isolated.

    Labour and skills shortage or decent pay packet shortage?The Council of Trade Unions say that Wages paid to New Zealand workers are failing to reflect skills and labour shortages.

    New figures showed salaries and wages were not rising as high as they should in response to persistent labour shortages and a high demand for skilled labour.

    The Labour Cost Index showed that wages increased by only 2.3 percent for the June 2004 year.

    A high demand for housing has meant a 16 percent increase in house prices, but a high demand for labour pushes wages up just two percent, CTU President Ross Wilson says.

    This shows that the labour market is not operating as it should.

    Strengthening the Employment Rela-tions Act had the potential to ensure a more effective market response to labour shortages, he said.

    Calls to increase immigration would not solve the problem.

    If we match Australian wages and conditions for skilled workers, thou-sands of Kiwis driven across the Tasman by low wage strategies will come flood-ing home.

    The CTU supported appropriate immigration but not at the expense of providing work for New Zealanders forced to work abroad or who are still unemployed.

    Lifting and targeting investment in apprenticeships and industry training is also a key factor in tackling skill short-ages.www.union.org.nz

  • Auckland StrikeMaritime Union members brought the Ports of Auckland to a standstill in September in their quest for perma-nent jobs.

    260 wharfies went on a four day strike from 7am Wednesday 8 Septem-ber to 7am Sunday 12 September 2004.

    The members voted to go on strike after negotiations with Ports of Auck-land management failed to resolve workers concerns about the level of casualization at the port.

    Maritime Union Local 13 President Denis Carlisle says that numerous op-portunities to move part-time and casual employees into permanent positions had been ignored.

    The Union wants more secure, per-manent jobs for workers.

    A round the clock picket was mounted with workers and supporters maintaining a disciplined, united and positive presence for the duration of the strike at the Bledisloe and Fergusson terminals.

    The four day strike hit the headlines in New Zealand and overseas.

    The Maritime Union has campaigned against casualization and union branch-es around New Zealand offered their support and solidarity to the strikers.

    The Council of Trade Unions offered its support as did other New Zealand Unions.

    Messages of support and solidarity came from around the world includ-ing from the ILWU and Teamsters in the USA, the ITF head office in the UK, the Rail and Maritime Union in the UK, the Japanese and Korean dock workers unions, and European Unions.

    The Maritime Union of Australia sent a four person delegation to the picket which was given a Maori welcome.

    Local posties were warned by man-agers not to attend the picket in uniform (which they did.)

    Supporters including unionists, po-litical activists and others came down to the picket and offered their solidarity.

    As the Maritimes goes to print, the Union has gone back into negotiation with management.

    A further seven day stoppage has not been ruled out if progress is not made.

    The members of Maritime Union Auckland Waterfront Branch Local 13 would like to offer their thanks to all those who offered their support and solidarity over the strike.See centre pages for more strike photos

    Maritime Union Local 13 President Denis Carlisle addresses picketers beside the National Distribution Union solidarity bus

    Picketers wait at the Tinley Street gate to welcome the Maritime Union of Australia delegates

  • An international black market in cheap labour is establishing itself on the edges of the New Zealand economy, threatening to smash wages and condi-tions.

    Overseas workers are being brought into New Zealand on short-term con-tracts and the practice is on the increase.

    The New Zealand fishing industry has recently been the site of the latest battle over the use of imported labour.

    Bosses say its due to a shortage of skilled or available labour.

    But the situation seems more about using worker against worker in the old-est game of all: divide and rule in the name of corporate profit.

    A number of Nelson fishing compa-nies have been applying to the Immigra-tion Service for short term workers to be brought into the country to crew domes-tic and joint venture (New Zealand and overseas owned) fishing trawlers, and the practice is already spreading around the country.

    The Nelson area has already seen large numbers of guest workers import-ed to work in the fruit industry once again on a short-term, insecure basis.

    The South Island organizer for the Fishing Industry Guild, Louis Hart, says the moves threaten both New Zealand jobs and the conditions workers in the fishing industry have.

    Mr Hart says labour and skills short-ages are a reflection of industry prob-

    lems such as pay rates and training, not problems with New Zealand workers.

    He says the move is really aimed at cutting labour costs due to other prob-lems in the industry.

    Mr Hart says it is an attempt to enter the global labour market, and if it is allowed to continue would spread from the fishing industry through all primary industries.

    Foreign exchange pressures, low catch rates, increasing fuel costs and poor commodity prices have all under-mined profits in the fishing industry in recent months.

    The hoki quota for next year has also been slashed by the Government from 180 000 tonnes to 100 000 tonnes due to concerns that overfishing was damaging fish stocks.

    There is growing international pres-sure to halt overfishing and aggressive commercial fishing practices that are damaging the marine environment and fish stocks.

    The Maritime Union has offered its support to fishermen and has gone pub-lic with National President Phil Adams describing the use of imported over-seas labour in the New Zealand fishing industry as a stain on New Zealands conscience.

    Mr Adams says the Union sees the moves as part of a long term plan by employers to restructure the New Zea-land economy around an international,

    casualized labour market.What we are seeing is not a one-off

    situation, it is a process that we believe is intended to knock the bottom out of wages and conditions in the most vul-nerable industries first.

    Mr Adams says the Maritime Union is surprised the situation is being al-lowed to continue under a Labour-led Government committed to industry training and reducing unemployment.

    He says the Maritime Union is not opposed to foreign workers, but is against the system which allowed the exploitation of cheap imported labour to undermine wages, conditions and employment security.

    Maritime Union General Secretary Trevor Hanson says the Maritime Union has been lobbying the Government on the issue.

    He says importing cheap labour will create a second-level employment market where casualized and under-employed New Zealand workers are played off against imported short-term contract workers.

    Council of Trade Unions Secretary Carol Beaumont says the CTU is con-cerned by the moves and is talking to the Government as well.

    The Service and Food Workers Union has criticized moves by a Timaru fishing company to bring in workers on its fac-tory freezer trawlers.

    Politicians have also stepped into the row with New Zealand First deputy leader Peter Brown attacking fishing companies.

    The move to bring in foreign workers when there are a number of unemployed New Zealanders who could benefit from the opportunity to get a foothold in the fishing industry is ludicrous, he said.

    Labour MP Damien OConnor also called for his own Government to re-think the policy earlier in the year.

    Maritime workers are already well aware of the threat posed by the use of non-unionized, casual labour, both from within New Zealand and from overseas.

    The New Zealand shipping industry has been decimated by Flag of Conve-nience shipping which exploits unorga-nized Third World crews.

    Alarm is also spreading due to the rise of Ports of Convenience, where non-union, casualized waterfront work-ers are shunted around internationally, turning ports into global free labour zones.See Ports of Convenience article page 10

    A Fishy Business: New Zealand and the global market for cheap labour

  • Bakx to basics for Port Otago in South Island suit shufflePort Otago joint chief executive Rene Bakx has resigned and has moved to a new position at the Lyttelton Port Company.

    The departure of Mr Bakx has caused local concerns that he is taking his 11-years of experience and knowledge to a competing operator.

    Port Otago chairman John Gilks told the Otago Daily Times that Mr Bakx was taking secrets with him, but was a per-son of high integrity and very honest.

    Mr Gilks said he was surprised and a little disappointed by the decision, as Port Otago had been operating excep-tionally well under Mr Bakxs manage-ment.

    Mr Bakx told media there was no conspiracy theory about his depar-ture, which was due to his philosophy that all chief executives had a shelf life and required rotation and change.

    He said the potential for a conflict of interest had been one of the biggest issues of his departure, but the process had been amicable.

    He said he was leaving a corporate-commercial role to begin a technical position as Port of Lytteltons infrastruc-ture manager.

    The current Port Otago joint Chief Executive Geoff Plunket will become sole charge.

    A record 2.5 million tonnes of cargo crossed the Port Chalmers wharves for the year to June 2004, and last Septem-ber Port Otago posted its sixth increased dividend in a row of $6.1 million.

    Lyttelton has had a bumpy ride in recent times with aggressive manage-ment causing industrial problems with combined port unions.

    Some senior figures in the port resigned, but Lyttelton has recently posted increased profits and operating revenues.

    The two main South Island ports have been in a competitive relationship in recent years.

    The Maritime Union has been in dis-pute with the Government over new port security measures.

    The Government is making port authorities conduct random searches of workers and visitors to ports under security level 1 (the basic everyday security level.)

    General Secretary Trevor Hanson says the Union is concerned that used on an everyday basis these random searches will be an invasion of privacy and could also mean victimization of individuals.

    The Union has told the Government that it has no problem with random searches at Security Level 2 and Level 3 where there is a definite security alert, or under security drills, as long as these are carried out by police or customs agents.

    The Union has unanimously agreed to a policy of search one, search all.

    If any individual union member is required to be searched, then all Union members must insist on being searched as well.

    All members have been well in-formed by branch officials of the unani-mous National Executive resolution to carry out this policy by the time you receive this edition.

    The Lyttelton Port Company has no-tified all of its clients and port users that all parties accept random searches and that as from 9am Monday 20 September they will commence searching a mini-mum of 5% of all Port users.

    This has not been agreed to by the Maritime Union at any port in New Zealand.

    If you arrive at the gate and a request is placed on you for a search of your property or vehicle, state our policy and from then on in all of our members request that they be searched by either a Customs Officer, Police Officer, or the other designated Government agency Aviation Security (not private security guards or other port workers.)

    The union is concerned that this type of searching at Level 1 could very easily escalate if the American Government tells our Government to institute body searches, locker searches, or even worse criminal background searches in order to fit in with American regulations.

    The Maritime Union of Australia is at this very moment fighting off criminal background searches.

    The Maritime Union is aware that in the United States there have been a number of security lapses and wide-spread concern about the actual level of security practised there.

    Mr Hanson says New Zealand workers should not be penalized when American security procedures are not even working properly at their end.

    Port Security

  • by Russell Mayn Secretary, Auckland Branch Local 13

    Auckland hosted a Maritime Union national forum for

    locals and branches on 1-2 July 2004 to report on their current situation with Toll.

    Officials and delegates from Lyttle-ton, Wellington, Napier, Tauranga, and Whangarei were all hosted by Local 13.

    Day One started with an opening address from the President of Local 13 Denis Carlisle.

    This was followed by a report from all the delegates on the issues that faced them at their home ports.

    These proved to be a wide and varied description of the conditions at the ports and the problems that workers and officials faced on a daily basis.

    As the day progressed it became clear that each and every port differed by geographical position, size and the very nature of the cargo they were involved in had different requirements. There was also a large common ground in the issues facing each port.

    We identified the need for a collec-tive approach when dealing with Toll in future Collective Employment Agree-ment negotiations.

    Its refreshing to note that even when

    the subject is serious, maritime workers still retain a very quick wit along with a good sense of humour.

    It makes a long day shorter. Input from company delegates sup-

    plied the meeting with all the neces-sary ingredients for healthy debate and identified an urgent need for uniformity in interport transfers.

    At the end of day one it was agreed by consensus to adjourn for a couple of drinks and it is worthy of a mention that all the problems had been fixed by the end of the night.

    Day two started with Wellington Sea-farers Secretary Mike Williams giving the meeting an update on the dispute with Toll and the Cook Strait Ferries.

    Further discussions on a communi-cations protocol and a draft motion on Toll Logistics resulted with both of these being adopted.

    This conference created an excellent foundation for the Maritime Union to put in place a National Document and the challenge is to make sure that we all follow up on this.

    Local 13 thanks everyone who at-tended, and especially Local 13 office administrator Miss Merita Reidy who organized everything at very short notice.

    Touch One Touch All!

    Toll to the Dole Arahura ferry workers are moving from Toll to the dole, was the reac-tion of Maritime Union Wellington Seafarers Secretary Mike Williams to a Employment Court decision in July regarding the restructuring of cater-ing positions on the Cook Strait ferry Arahura.

    The Employment Court effectively sided with transnational corporate Toll who want to create walk on, walk off positions for all current live-in catering crew.

    Many catering staff live around the country and work on a 7 days on, 7 days off basis.

    The Employment Court said that Toll could restructure during the current agreement period on the proviso that they offered existing workers walk on, walk off positions under a new 6 days on, 3 days off roster.

    All future crew will be required to live in Wellington as part of their em-ployment.

    This will effectively mean redun-dancy for catering workers on the Arahura who do not choose to take Tolls new, inferior conditions, says Mr Williams.

    Many workers will not be able to afford to live in Wellington, especially given the reduced pay on offer.

    The decision means that the workers who remain will be required to work for less pay and more hours.

    The current employment agreement for the workers did not expire until 31 September 2004.

    Toll have completely ignored that there is a current agreement which the Union and Tranzrail negotiated 20 months ago in good faith.

    The Maritime Union has attacked the tactics of Toll which have included:

    1. Age Discrimination using younger members serving on the Lynx against older longer serving members on the Arahura.

    2. Making members redundant when their job is still there and undermining a current agreement.

    3. Making members work more for less, effectively stealing hard fought for wages and conditions.

    4. Using the Employment Court to justify and claim urgency because of the alterations for reconstructing at the July Arahura dry dock.

    Maritime Union members picket in Wellington after Toll attack

    Toll Conference

  • The New Zealand Government is plan-ning a free trade deal with China.

    Negotiations for the deal start early in 2005.

    The free trade deal is supposed to improve trade between the two coun-tries, and thus generate wealth and prosperity.

    However, there is one problem with our new friendly relationship.

    China is a dictatorship where work-ers have no right to organize outside official trade unions, where minimum labour conditions are ignored, child and prison slave labour is common, and the environment is trashed on a regular basis.

    So much for the Peoples Republic.Modern day China operates on a

    system where the Communist Party elite rules over an increasingly corrupt free market system.

    A wealthy class of entrepreneurs and multinational corporations are given a free hand to exploit a massive, impoverished working class.

    Strangely enough, free trade fans in New Zealand such as the Business Roundtable, are quite enthusiastic about this aspect of China.

    The CTU says the lack of core la-bour standards in China is an extreme-ly serious issue.

    International reports show how state controlled Chinese trade unions are sup-posed to mobilize workers to strive to fulfil their tasks in production and take part in democratic management and supervision (in other words, act as the boss.)

    Many Western companies are re-locating their manufacturing to China because it is cheap.

    The reason Chinese manufacturing is cheap is partly to do with the massive size of the Chinese economy.

    But its also to do with the fact that workers are ripped off and abused.

    The AFL-CIO American trade union centre estimates the suppression of workers rights and failure of China to enforce its minimum labour code has cut the price of Chinese labour by between 47% and 86%.

    A survey by the American retailer Gap for working conditions found that its Chinese operations had the highest number of health and safety problems.

    Workers were penalized for sup-porting unions and subjected to forced pregnancy tests.

    Other problems included pay below the minimum wage, work weeks longer than 60 hours, unsanitary toilets and restricted access to documentation for monitors.

    The problems of Chinese workers were compounded by a climate of governmental disinterest and a tradition of corporate secrecy.

    The Maritime Union is concerned

    any more moves towards a free trade agreement will see an increasing free trade in human labour.

    Short term overseas labour is already being used in the New Zealand agricul-ture and horticulture industry, and is be-ing introduced into the fishing industry.

    Our maritime industry has been decimated by the use of exploited Third World labour aboard Flag of Con-venience shipping in New Zealand waters already.

    The ITF is running a campaign against Ports of Convenience where casualized, deunionized labour is moved between ports internationally to drive down wages and conditions for workers.

    The Maritime Union announced in September 2004 that a national stoppage would be declared if overseas labour

    was introduced onto the New Zealand waterfront.

    Maritime Union General Secretary Trevor Hanson says all workers are under threat from a globalized labour market where employers can move labour around as a commodity, without regard to the economic effect on local workers or the human rights of the over-seas workers.

    The Maritime Union already has to fight instances where overseas crews are ordered to do self-loading work onto ships in New Zealand ports, as well as carry out ship inspections on behalf of exploited foreign crews.

    Our members work on a daily basis with ships and crews from Third World countries who are exploited, silenced and endangered on these ships of shame, says Mr Hanson.

    The Maritime Union will fight any attempt to introduce Third World condi-tions or casualized sweatship labour into New Zealand.Further information at:www.union.org.nzhttp://www.arena.org.nz/Freetrade&Investment.htm

  • An abridged article by Kees Marges ITF Dockers Secretary

    Inexperienced, untrained, casual non-union labour is gradually replacing skilled, unionized workforces in many ports, as terminal operators succumb to pressure from shipowners, shippers and politicians to embrace fundamen-talist market ideologies.

    This means the introduction of many labour cost saving policies: reducing the standard of working conditions, introducing total flexibility of working times and tasks, employing unorganized workers and flying in cheap labour from countries where trade unions are forbid-den or restricted.

    In Europe, a three-year campaign resulted in the European Union (EU) Parliaments rejection of plans to open up ports to this type of activity.

    However the European Commission is now expected to work to pressure member states into introducing free market policies in ports.

    Another option is for the EU to use the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to enforce these changes.

    The so-called liberalisation and deregulation in the maritime and port industries is changing the balance of power between major industry players all over the world.

    Shippers and shipping lines are becoming stronger, while port authori-ties, terminal operators and workers are becoming the victims of the process.

    New power basesTerminal operators in the container

    handling port industry have understood the challenge this presents to them, and have responded by forming global network terminals, which embody a concentration of strength and power on the side of the terminal operators.

    Some port authorities have con-cluded that they should look in the same direction and we have already seen one merger of ports: that of Goteborg and Malmo in Sweden.

    This has created one legal entity and thus one port and port authority.

    Some Mediterranean ports have indi-cated that they too feel a need for tighter cooperation.

    Workers and their unions will suffer from this concentration of power unless we too are able to increase our own power.

    The danger is that the pressure will increase to accept labour cost saving pol-icies, with bad consequences for labour rights and working conditions.

    There are plenty of examples to show that this process is already underway.

    At the Tanjung Pelepas Terminal in Malaysia, unorganised workers have been employed from Indonesia, and the Philippines (and may soon be hired from China) to replace the Malaysian port workers whose working conditions were deemed to be too high.

    This enabled Tanjung Pelepas to offer lower cargo handling tariffs and thus to compete with the Port of Singapore.

    Shippers Maersk-Sealand and Evergreen consequently switched part of their business from Singapore to Tan-jung Pelepas.

    And as a result PSA Terminals (pre-viously known as PSA Corp), one of the two terminal operators in the Port of Singapore, cut labour costs by, among other measures, the sacking of workers.

    Another example is the pressure exercised by Nordana Shipping Lines on terminals in the Southeast and Gulf Ports of the USA.

    In order to cut tariffs, Nordana de-cided to move its business from union-ized terminals to terminals outside the coverage of the ILA (the East Coast USA dockers Union.)

    Cheaper, unorganised workers were employed at the expense of unionized workers.

    Competition forces the issue Increasingly in certain ports cargo

    is being handled in line with all the demands of shipping lines and shippers who, as a result, get a five star service: in contrast the port workers have to accept unsatisfactory working conditions.

    These Ports of Convenience mean low wages, the need to be available at all hours of the day, working too many hours per day and having no or too little safety and health protection.

    Port workers can also be sacked whenever the shipping line wants, have to follow all instructions from the employer without any right to influence them and finally have no union rights.

    The effect of the behaviour of a port of convenience in a competitive envi-ronment is that other ports will need to follow to survive.

    If they do not they will lose ships and jobs, as we have seen in Singapore.

    This is why one of the specific effects of labour cost cutting cargo handling by seafarers appears to be a problem that cannot be solved easily on a case-by-case basis.

    Shipping lines approached by the ITF usually promise to end cargo handling violations, but in practice they continue to instruct seafarers to do cargo han-dling work.

    They can violate international stan-dards with confidence as they notice other lines doing the same thing.

    In recent years the number of ports and terminals, notably in short sea ship-ping, where cargo handling by seafar-ers could not be stopped by industrial action has since increased.

    Ports of Convenience

  • No benefits for workers in Thai free trade agreementThe New Zealand and Thai govern-ments are negotiating a free trade agreement.

    They want to have the deal signed by November 2004 but havent answered some important questions.

    New Zealand workers could lose their jobs or be pressured to accept lower wages and conditions if forced into unfair competition with exploited Thai workers.

    The minimum wage is $6.20 for an eight-hour day or 77 cents an hour.

    Nobody can live on that wage in Thailand (let alone support a family) so most workers in these jobs work a lot of overtime.

    Child labour is common in Thailand. At least 500,000 children aged 1314 are (illegally) in paid employment, and earning even less than the minimum wage.

    Migrant workers are especially vul-nerable, and there are lots of abuses.

    Although Thailand has ratified the International Labour Organisation (ILO) conventions on the minimum age, and discrimination, it does little to monitor or enforce them.

    Thailand has not ratified the ILO conventions on the right to organise and the right to collective bargaining, which means that union organising is extreme-ly difficult.

    So Thai workers, like New Zealand workers, dont need more free trade they need secure jobs with decent pay and conditions and the right to organize collectively to improve their lot.

    The Maritime Union has included let-ters to send to your MP in this mailout of the Maritimes.

    Sign and send the letter - and get your friends, family and workmates to do the same.

    We want to make sure that free trade agreements arent used to knock down wages and conditions for workers here or overseas.

    Need for a new strategyThe reality is that a competitive

    market can destroy any isolated attempt to force a port to maintain its traditional high levels of safety and working condi-tions, and its employment of the tradi-tional workforce, so long as a nearby competing port is a port of convenience.

    The neighbouring port can offer its services more cheaply and put a port op-erating with high labour standards out of business.

    This is already the case on a regional level, but in a global industry, ultimately the same principle will apply.

    It is clear then that doing nothing or continuing with case by case campaign-ing against union busting and cargo handling by seafarers are not serious options.

    This was one of the reasons behind the decision last year to merge the ITF anti-union-busting and cargo handling campaigns into one strong campaign.

    Now we have to tackle all the prob-lems created by ports of convenience in a coordinated and strategic way.

    This means a new, long term cam-paign, setting our own minimum social standards and criteria to be maintained in ports all over the world.

    If we fail, we will end up with sub-standard ports where no decent jobs, acceptable working conditions, safe and healthy workplaces and strong trade unions are available for workers.

    If ITF affiliates approve the new campaign, ports who refuse to adhere to our agreed social criteria and standards would find themselves labelled a Port of Convenience.

    This term obviously comes from the ITFs 50-year campaign against flags of convenience (FOC) in the maritime industry.

    Our campaign continues to work towards an end to the system where a shipowner can get around national employment and safety standards by registering a ship with the flag of an-other country.

    The FOC campaign has achieved enormous success by forcing FOC registers to accept certain minimum standards or face blacklisting within the industry or boycotts from cargohandlers at sensitised ports.

    Persuading ports to accept our stan-dards could come about through nego-tiation by the ITF affiliated port workers unions in that particular port.

    Where no union exists, or is not recognised, actions could be carried out against ships using ports of convenience which are similar to the actions already carried out against FOC ships.

    Just as in the FOC campaign, actions against ships using ports of convenience would be organised within the laws of each country where they take place, at the discretion of the local Union.

    Facing the consequencesThe ITF Secretariat presented a pro-

    posal for a major campaign against ports of convenience at the Dockers Section Conference in Singapore in July 2004.

    Why should port employers, govern-ments or shipping companies worry if a particular port is labelled a Port of Convenience?

    It would be important to make them aware of the possible effects, which could include: Action by port workers unions in other ports to hinder the movement of cargo to or from the port; Action by seafarers unions to discour-age shipowners from using the port; Other action by the ITF, its affiliates or inspectors designed to achieve the same objectives.

    What is a port of convenience?For the Flag of Convenience cam-

    paign, the ITF defines a FOC register as one where there is no genuine link between the ship and the flag.

    Defining a Port of Convenience is more complex and would take into ac-count a number of factors including: Failure to ratify and apply core Inter-national Labour Organisation standards Failure to recognise a genuine trade union for representation and collective bargaining purposes; The use by the port of cargo handling by seafarers (self-loading) or non-union casual labour; Insufficient involvement of unions on proposals for change.

    Some of these factors are clearly more important than others, and some may apply to specific terminals within a port rather than to the port as a whole.

    There could therefore be a need for different grades of POC orterminals of convenience within an otherwise non-POC port.

    Other factors such as the strategic position of the port globally and region-ally would also be taken into account.

    Original article published in Transport International, March 2004

    For more information on the campaign, go to this website:http://www.itf.org.uk/english/dockers/

  • Seafarers play a pivotal role in the smooth running of the world economy, with around 90% of trade in the worlds raw materials, food and products being transported by sea.

    On World Maritime Day (30 Septem-ber 2004), seafarers trade unions and shipping industry employers who col-lectively make up the shipping industry are coming together to ask govern-ments to allow mariners to step ashore to enjoy a hard earned rest following what can be weeks at sea.

    Shipping companies and seafarers are backing the Days aim of promoting maritime security by reminding govern-ments especially the United States that security is best achieved by working together, not by treating visiting seafar-ers as potential terrorists.

    This is especially important given the security role conferred on seafarers by the new International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code.

    Facilitating the movement of seafarers

    World Maritime Day is drawing attention to a problem confronting the 1.25 million seafarers working on board merchant vessels in international trade.

    Due to the special nature of seafarers employment, with crews being confined to their ships during sea voyages of several weeks duration, access to shore leave in the foreign ports that seafarers visit is vital to ensure their well-being and welfare.

    However, one of the consequences of post 9/11 security concerns is the tighter restrictions being placed on the move-ment of seafarers.

    The new ISPS Code has conferred a major new security role on seafarers and placed them in the front line of the new maritime security regime.

    The shipping industry therefore believes that unreasonable restrictions on shore leave are counter productive, simply generating ill feeling amongst those who contribute to the security of ships and port facilities.

    At the July meeting of the IMO Fa-cilitation Committee, the IMO Secretary General appealed to Governments and port facilities (whose concern over security I fully respect) to treat seafarers as partners in the fight against terrorism and to facilitate their access to ports and shore facilities.

    The most acute problems have been experienced in the USA, where, in ad-dition to the frequent denial of shore leave, some companies have even been required to hire armed guards to pre-vent foreign seafarers from leaving their ships.

    However the problem is widespread, with many other countries no longer adhering to the principle that seafarers should not be required to obtain visas in order to enjoy shore leave, as established in international law by the Interna-tional Maritime Organization (IMO) Facilitation Convention 1965 and the International Labour Organization (ILO) Seafarers Identity Documents Conven-tion 1958 (ILO Convention 108).

    To address security concerns fol-lowing the 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, the ILO has adopted a new Convention on the Security of Sea-farers Identity Documents (ILO Con-vention 185), which replaces the 1958 Convention.

    The new Convention, adopted in June 2003, requires seafarers identity documents to include a barcoded finger-print, and sets out the detailed proce-dures for their issue.

    Crucially, the Convention maintains the principle that port states must afford special treatment to seafarers for the purpose of facilitating shore leave or crew transits, and that seafarers hold-ing the new ID should not normally be required to apply for a visa in advance in their home country.

    It is very much hoped that all gov-ernments will ratify and/or implement the provisions of ILO Convention 185 as soon as possible.

    With respect to the provisions of ILO Convention 185 concerning the facilita-tion of shore leave, the shipping indus-try is especially concerned that seafarers must now hold individual visas for entry to the United States and that they must appear in person at US consulates in order to have any possibility of being granted permission to enjoy shore leave.

    Apart from the practical difficul-ties this policy creates, it also sends a negative signal to other governments considering whether to ratify the new ILO Convention.

    As we celebrate World Maritime Day, the shipping industry is urging all governments, not least the United States, to do all that they can to facilitate the movement of seafarers and to grant access to shore leave along the lines pro-vided for in ILO Convention 185. www.itf.org.uk


  • The Fleetwood Update:Vice Presidents Report

    by Joe Fleetwood Vice President

    CampaigningWell members, under the guidance

    of the Maritime Union National Execu-tive, we completed the first parts of our national campaign.

    The campaign is directed at ridding our industry of yellow unions, casual-ization, deregulation, and preventing the total destruction of Coastal Ship-ping.

    We are working for permanent job security and public awareness of the disgraceful acts committed on the work-ing class of New Zealand by predatory transnational corporations.

    During the campaign, national of-ficials visited all branches of the Union, addressing our members and the many interested parties who attended our Public Meetings at each port.

    Representatives from the Labour and the Progressive Parties, Greenpeace, and other unions attended meetings at vari-ous ports, as well as Vice-chairperson of the Fishing Peoples of the World Pauline Tangiora.

    All showed positive support for our never-ending struggles.

    We canvassed all ports, and many small towns along the way with cam-paign material including posters, pam-phlets, postcards, radio and newspaper releases.

    We also had the exhausting task of going to Parliament to lobby Ministers and MPs directly involved with the se-lect committee dealing with the changes to the Employment Relations Act.

    Our submission to the Select Com-mittee had a simple focus of permanent job security for all seafarers and wharf-ies.

    We argued that a national register of all Maritime Union workers will provide a permanent, dedicated work force, long-term stability, and strengthen port security for New Zealand, and the Maritime Industry in general.

    Minister of Transport Pete Hodgson called a joint industry meeting in late May to discuss Coastal Shipping and Casualisation.

    This meeting was attended by the Maritime Union, Council of Trade Unions, Shipping Federation, Main-freight, NZ Business, Federated Farm-

    ers, foreign ship owners, and Coastwise, amongst others.

    The Minister did not come up with the goods and delivered a blatant attack on the New Zealand work force and the economy by saying no to Cabotage and tax breaks for single industries.

    This leaves a large void open for foreign operators to further exploit our disgraceful open coast policy.

    Two positives did come from this meeting.

    Changes were made to section 198 of the Maritime Transport Act, giving some preference to New Zealand flag vessels.

    Foreign ships on demise charter to a New Zealand based operator with New Zealand seafarers may carry coastal cargoes as a right, and not apply for a permit.

    Since 1994, foreign owned, operated, and crewed vessels have been given preference to carry cargoes, and trade New Zealand coastal routes, paying little or no taxes, levies, and ACC.

    All profits go offshore.Amending Section 198 will take us

    forward, provide growth, and will assist New Zealand in our home trade once again.

    The Minister acknowledged the fact that career paths were necessary for the waterfront industry.

    We are lobbying hard for the Minis-ter to set regulations in place to protect, not disadvantage, dedicated port work-ers.

    Predatory companies are buying up New Zealand and attacking our culture, wages, and conditions.

    Looking to the future A collective agreement between

    ports is the way for our future, and will ensure a long existence.

    We are a struggle-based union, which has fought for over 120 years, and we will continue to fight for another 120 years.

    We must expose all freeloaders and weak, company crawlers for the rubbish they are.

    An attack on any section of the Union be it seafarers or watersiders must be met with great force. We are one Union, touch one touch all.

    We must fight, educate, organize and take control of our destinies to ensure a future for generations to come, as one

    was left for us. Nothing is too good for the workers!

    PoliticalComrades, I am under no illusions

    that under a Don Brash-led Govern-ment, all New Zealand workers will be rewarded with more unemployment, poverty, starvation, deregulation, priva-tisation, and the like, and feel the con-tinued social repercussions of free trade, like many other countries do today.

    Many home-grown businesses think it is better to relocate and displace NZ business and workers: if $2 a week to exploit foreign workers is a great deal, then $2.50 a week to exploit corporate executives must be even better!

    Nobody wins from these narrow-minded, short-term, profiteering, dis-graceful actions.

    My message to all political parties is: strongly support the majority, not the minority.

    Thank you to the Green Party leader-ship of Keith Locke and Rod Donald, Sue Bradford and others, for their un-equivocal support for our campaign.

    This includes reinstating Cabotage, rebuilding New Zealand shipping, protecting our biosecurity, and fighting casualisation, which continues to ravage the New Zealand workforce.

    Together, we can make a difference.To all other parliamentarians, thanks

    for meeting and listening to the serious concerns of the Maritime Union.

    I personally condemn those shame-less individuals that refuse to listen to the workers that you all crawl to, come election time, when promises run free and easy.

    Delivering nothing shames you all!Thank you also to Comrade Billot for

    your continual efforts behind the scenes.Thanks to all friends, and comrades

    of the Maritime Union, who dedicated time and support to our never-ending campaign for social justice for all.

    To do nothing is not an option

    Kia Kaha, Tatau tatauBe strong, we are all one

  • ITF News by Kathy Whelan New Zealand ITF Co-ordinator

    Dockers ClauseThe focus of ITF activity over the

    past several months has not been so much on the employment conditions of foreign seafarers, but rather on those of our own members waterside workers.

    There has been a constant attack on wharfies work coverage with crews be-ing ordered to do wharfies work.

    All ITF agreements contain a dock-ers clause a clause strictly prohibiting crews from undertaking dockers work.

    This is put there to protect dockers.It is very easy to turn a blind eye

    to situations where crews are doing dockers work, but if we do this we are taking away our own jobs.

    The ramifications are enormous, particularly in a world of casualization, de-unionization and increasing numbers of unskilled, untrained workers.

    You have to ensure that you are a vi-tal part of the job, not turn away whilst someone else does it for you.

    When you go aboard a vessel check to see that your areas of work have not been done or commenced by the crew.

    If you suspect it has or you see crew doing your work, immediately contact your delegate, the union office.

    It is your work!Safety Issues

    Our members also need to be vigi-lant in respect to safety.

    We have had a number of vessels reported with problems that threaten the safety of our members.

    The owners pursuit of profit does not include the health and safety of the labour that works their vessels.

    Each case is reported to the MSA and our comrades across the Tasman.

    Health and safety is what our union is based on: all of our conditions came from the vigilance of its members on health and safety issues.

    Health and safety is a vital issue to every worker and we must not let our health and safety be compromised.

    ISPS CodeThe ISPS code for security came into

    force at the beginning of July and imme-diately caused problems for the Union and the ITF.

    Teething problems were expected and the ITF were prepared to give it time for the new regime to develop.

    However our patience very quickly turned to concern as access to crews was restricted or denied by the port companies and masters, with little if any co-operation from agents.

    It appears in some ports the new re-gime is being used to prevent us gaining access to crews we will not allow this to happen.

    Trans TasmanThe Australia and New Zealand ITF

    Inspectorates work as one we have a strong network among both the full time coordinators and the rank and file.

    I am pleased to report that Matty Purcell who is the ITF inspector in Melbourne was recently appointed the Australian Assistant coordinator to as-sist Dean Summers who is the full time Coordinator based in Sydney.

    Dean, Matt and myself place training of our volunteer inspectors as the high-est priority to ensure our inspectorates operate effectively and for the benefit of seafarers.

    We are developing some practical training programmes for Australia and New Zealand within the next 12 months and hope to exchange volunteers.

    TongaIt is a concern seafarers from South

    Pacific nations are being trained up by predominantly German shipowners and put out into the international markets at rates far below ILO minimums.

    Tonga is the latest labour supply-ing South Pacific nation and we have evidence that an AB is receiving as little as US$300 per month.

    Two Australian flagged and manned vessels the Hakula (formerly Sandra Marie) and Ikuna (formerly Wallarah) were flagged out to Tonga and manned with Tongan ratings and Australian Of-ficers.

    These vessels have been subject to a MUA campaign.

    I attempted to inspect the Hakula in Auckland a few months ago and was booted off the vessel by the Australian Master who would not allow me access to the crew.

    I reminded him that he had at all times in his seagoing career benefited

    from the gains of organized labour, but for some reason he felt his Tongan crew did not: he had no shame.

    Tonga has no organized trade union movement, although recently an orga-nization called the Tongan Seafarers Union was set up.

    One of the first things they did was put a complaint into the ITF in London that they (the Union) were being ha-rassed by the ITF in Australia and New Zealand!

    On the rare occasions we get on board the ITF in Australia and New Zea-land make it very clear that we are there to support the crew and assist them in getting at least ILO minimum wages if not an ITF agreement.

    The crew understand our role, and so does the company the latter will do what they can to ensure we do not succeed in gaining decent wages and conditions for the seafarers.

    Ship Cases: Sea HanaThe above vessel is a car carrier,

    Maltese flag and has a mixed Croatian, Serbian, Lebanese, Ukrainian, Syrian and Polish crew.

    It was trading around New Zealand for Kiwi carriers on a one off basis as one of the ships in their dedicated run was out of service.

    It left New Zealand on Monday 16 August bound for Osaka so should take 2 to 3 weeks.

    When it was here it was put under security alert because three Middle Eastern crew members threatened to jump ship so the agents had the customs and police (armed) guard the ship for her stay in port to ensure that the crew members didnt desert.

    It was so bad that they were unload-ing one car at a time and searching each car as it came off (at gun point) to ensure no crew had stowed away.

    We were unable to get on board because of the security measures.

    We have alerted our comrades in Osaka who will meet the vessel on ar-rival.

    AssistanceWe continue to play a lead role in

    assisting those unions in the countries of beneficial ownership of vessels to apply ITF agreements to the crews particu-larly Japan and Korea.

  • Dean Summers: ITF Coordinator for AustraliaDean Summers enjoys a proud family history in the seagoing industry.

    His father Paul spent just under 50 years as a seafarer and strong union activist.

    His brothers, uncles and cousins all share the love of the sea and chose it as a lifestyle and career.

    This month his son Daniel provides the family with a proud milestone when he will complete his training and become an integrated rating working in the offshore industry.

    Dean first went to sea at 16 shipping out of the Western Australian port of Fremantle.

    In 1991 Dean took up a position as the assistant state secretary of the sea-mens union of Australia and was an elected official through the amalgama-tion of the wharfies and seafarers to cre-ate the Maritime Union of Australia.

    In 2002 he was asked to take up the position of the ITF national coordinator and moved to Sydney.

    Dean remains active politically and is a strong supporter of the Trans Tasman federation and is committed to the ad-vancement of national shipping and the trade union movement in our region. ITF News and Views will profile an ITF Coordinator or Inspector in the Asia Pacific region each edition.

    A self-loading incident at the Port of Wellington in September highlights the danger this practice holds for all waterfront workers.

    The vessel Tasman Trader was being worked by yellow union employees of the Loading Company, who were al-lowing the crew to take hatch pontoons off, and the crew to unhook them on the wharf.

    Three national officials Trevor Hanson, Joe Fleetwood and Terry Ryan went to the Port intending to stop work to ensure the Wellington Port Company stop their tenant the Loading Company from carrying out this practice.

    It was discovered that this practice had previously been allowed by Mari-time Union members before the job was lost to the Loading Company.

    This was not helpful to our cause, but we made it very clear to the Port Company that International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) agreements carry the Dockworkers Clause which does not allow this type of work to be carried out by seafarers.

    ITF co-ordinator Kathy Whelan in-tervened on our behalf and went aboard the vessel.

    She spoke to the Tuvaluan crew and was told by the Bosun that since joining the vessel nine months previously he had spoken several times to the Captain about the issue of the crew doing dock-workers work.

    He said in future he would not turn out the crew to do it and was grateful for the intervention of the ITF.

    The other area of concern is that the crew had been ordered to clean out dunnage. This is our work but to make matters worse the crew has been paid a pittance and is now in dispute over the matter.

    The core of the issue is that if Mari-time Union members had not stood back and watched crew perform our work in the first place we would not now be in this position.

    If we dont protect our work, it will be gone.

    Recent free trade agreements raise the clear possibility of imported short-term casual labour being imported into New Zealand, and the waterfront is at clear risk.

    This means that all maritime work-ers should pay close attention to stop any incidents of ship crew doing our work - this is the first step towards us losing any remaining job security in our industry.

    Self loading alert



    This image FOTOPRESS/Phil Walter.


  • By Terry Ryan Assistant General Secretary

    The Fair Practice Committee meeting is made up of 50 seafarers and 50 dockers elected every four years at Congress.

    No country can have more than 1 docker or one seafarer and no affiliate can have more than one person on the Fair Practice Committee.

    This Fair Practice meeting in Singa-pore was full on, with a mountain of work to complete and 61 countries in attendance.

    One sad aspect was Dave Morgan of the Maritime Union of New Zealand being given observer status after serving seafarers on the Fair Practice Commit-tee for 30 years: an e-mail or phone call to the effect prior to the meeting would have been common decency.

    In the event the New Zealand delegation was Terry Ryan (delegate), Helen McAra (NZMSG, adviser), Kathy Whelan (ITF, co-ordinator), and Dave Morgan (observer).

    Dave was naturally upset by the lack of courtesy and respect given a long and principled service.

    So in the end without any social niceties being given consideration, the system won.

    However by conference end, enough ITF senior officers felt suitably embar-rassed at their oversight, that they then determined to bring him back one more time to do it properly.

    Had the status quo been accepted without a fight this would not have oc-curred.

    Much of the meeting involved strat-egy development that cannot be pub-

    lished at this stage.Some aspects covered included

    the Seafarers International Assistance, Welfare and Protection Fund, a review of FOC campaign activities, the Ports of Convenience campaign, the national flag working group, and a Secretariat report, along with motions and other business.

    The Fair Practice committee meet-ing was opened by Lee Boon Heng with extensive media interest.

    Heng is a leader of the Singapore Transport Union but he is also a Minis-ter in the Singapore government.

    The Singaporean system is a complex and unusual system mixing unionism, politics, and social dialogue in a system that works for them.

    He noted that globalization was today reshaping the worlds economy, and companies can use cheap labour in places previously hard to reach.

    He said the Maritime industry was the first to see the global shift of work-ers, and that if we were not careful, and companies dont act responsibly with some social conscience, we will see a race to the bottom of costs and wages.

    Training was important as skills could attract premiums, and technology was another important area.

    He said Lee Kwong You (the first Singaporean President at independence) was a union advisor at the time.

    He used the tripartite system to ex-plain to workers why his policies were not anti-worker.

    This is why the President of the NTUC is in the cabinet, so workers have an opportunity to vet any new legisla-tion to ensure it is not anti-worker.

    ITF General Secretary David Cock-

    croft reminded delegates that the FOC campaign was for a properly regulated Shipping industry, and this meeting was reviewing some spectacular progress in globalizing solidarity.

    He said the IBS agreement was the first genuine example of global collec-tive bargaining.

    Hard lobbying in the United Na-tions had seen progress in the political campaign, with the UN at last looking at a countries flag and how it is used.

    David Cockcroft said there was no danger of the ITF relaxing standards, and we would be working with the IMO and ILO to secure acceptable standards once the ISPS code is introduced.

    Former NZMSG Secretary John McLeod is working for the ITF running around the world auditing ITF inspec-torates to ensure the involvement of good accounting practices, procedures, and accounts for ITF remittances to pro-vide easy cross checking.

    This involves 139 inspectors in 46 countries.

    The meeting was addressed by em-ployers for the first time.

    Partners in Global Collective bar-gaining were represented by David Dearsly of the Joint Negotiation Group Secretariat.

    Mr Kayahara of the International Marine Mariners Association of Japan represented all Japanese shipping lines, with President of the IMMEC Roberto Aggletti representing 85 countries, and 1400 ships.

    They announced that the group had now been joined by the Korean and Danish Shipping Associations.

    continued on page 31

    ITF Fair Practice Committee Meeting Report

  • By Terry Ryan Assistant General Secretary

    The Dockers section meeting of the ITF was held on 1314 July 2004 in Singa-pore and attended by dockers repre-sentatives from 49 countries.

    Previously held annually in London the meeting was being held in Asia for the first time.

    The Dockers Committee sits along-side the Fair Practice Committee, which is made up of 50 dockers representa-tives and 50 seafarers representatives from around the world.

    New Zealand maritime unions have been ITF affiliates since 1960 and have been represented at these meetings by the General Secretary or the Assis-tant General Secretary, including Ted Thompson, Sam Jennings, Joe Harkness, Trevor Hanson, or Terry Ryan.

    Currently I am one of the 3 Asia/Pacific regions representatives on the world Dockers Committee, which is divided into 4 regions.

    Dockers and Fair Practice committee members are elected by affiliates at the ITF Congress held once every 4 years.

    At this annual meeting, resolutions carried at the regional meetings are amended, debated, and endorsed, and strategies and campaigns developed.

    This heavy workload is important given that we live in an age where changes are continuously taking place in our Industry at a pace that could not have been imagined a few years ago.

    In this part of my report, I will cover some of the main points of the Dockers meeting.

    Chairman of PSA International (Port of Singapore Authority) Stephen Lee opened the conference.

    PSA is the second largest terminal operator in the world in order of size with 17 port projects in 11 countries.

    He said his Company in 1965 set up the first container port in the region, and viewed his companys success as based on a tri-partite arrangement where the company, government, and the unions (senior management and top officials) meet regularly to co-operate in a non confrontational manner.

    This is seen as a win-win by PSA of its social dialogue arrangements with the union which have produced pro-ductivity for the Company, and train-ing, wage and bonus increases for the workers.

    Cleo Doumbia-Henry of the ILO (In-

    ternational Labour Organisation) spoke of the ILOs involvement in Internation-al Labour Standards since 1919 and said the ILO was now promoting tripartite as the way forward.

    ITF General Secretary David Cock-croft said ports were assuming more importance in logistics, along with the just in time concept.

    The need was to ensure workers rights are protected in any changes.

    The ILWU lockout showed Asia that the just in time concept cannot work when the goods had nowhere to go.

    It provided an impetus for dealings with the World Bank, who has devel-oped a tool kit on port restructuring.

    Mr Cockroft said dockers can be very effective when they use solidarity and work through the ITF.

    He said the ITF is starting a year long campaign to ensure workers rights are not harmed by the ISPS, the new inter-national maritime security code.

    A major item was the proposed Ports of Convenience (POC) campaign, and the possible merging of this with the Flag of Convenience (FOC) campaign.

    The ITF has been conducting the FOC campaign for 50 years, supported around the world by 150 inspectors.

    The POC campaign will sit alongside the FOC campaign, and where common standards are not met by employers, then the ITF will be on their case.

    The international campaign will contain three major elements: industrial, legal, and political.

    In raising awareness we need to set standards in the ports together, not leave it to the politicians who have stripped away worker protections and safety con-ditions in the name of the free market ideology.

    Recently there have been some wins such as Patricks dispute in Australia, the ILWU on the west coast of the USA, and the EU ports directive.

    There have been some losses such as Sri Lanka, and with the Liverpool dock-ers: we need to be willing to take action to back up the rhetoric.

    The number of Global Network Terminals is exploding and waterfront unions need to act globally in order to deal with the same employers on an in-ternational basis, as these issues cannot be resolved within a region.

    The ongoing Cargo handling and self loading campaign has seen the question asked what is dockers work?

    There are various ideas, with lash-

    ITF Dockers Committee MeetingSingapore 1314 July 2004

    ing a major, and some allow cars to be driven.

    The loud and clear message is that dockers and wharfies will have to act to preserve their traditional and historical work whatever was done before is still our work.

    If a job is given away for whatever reason it will not be regained.

    A reporting scheme by ITF inspectors based on a questionnaire, to sit along-side ship inspections, is designed to ensure seafarers dont do our work.

    A security resolution was carried unanimously given that some ports find the new security laws could be used as a tool for union busting.

    Docker Section Secretary Kees Mar-ges announced his retirement.

    For some 10 years while Kees lived in London, his family has lived in Rot-terdam, to where he will retire.

    General Secretary Dave Cockcroft said Kees wont disappear off the radar in the near future, as the ITF wont let that experience and ability be lost to the organisation.

    It is understood Kees will work 120 days a year for the ITF.

    His replacement Frank Keys, the current Assistant Secretary, is a third generation docker from Belgium, and current Assistant Secretary.

    The Dockers accepted the PSA invitation to visit the terminals of the worlds largest transhipment hub, which handles about one-fifth of the worlds transhipment throughput.

    200 shipping lines call at Singapore, offering connections to 600 ports in 123 countries.

    Last year the port handled 18.1 mil-lion 20 foot TEU equivalents, 80% of which was tranship cargo.

    Some of the features we noted, fol-lowing a view from the PSA viewing deck on the 40th floor of the PSA build-ing, included: Straddles stacking 5 high Latest technology which has yard straddle cranes controlled from the tower by a guy using a joy stick. (Wait for it each man responsible for 6 cranes.) All USA cargo scanned. 5000 PSA staff, 1000 are operational. 3 x 8 hour shifts 365 days a year. Cranes have 1 man up for 8 hours with a toilet in the crane. Ship with 1000 moves takes approximately 12 hours.

    ITF Fair Practice Committee Meeting Report

  • Port Roundup:Auckland Seafarers

    By Garry Parsloe

    The 4th Annual Port and Shipping Conference was held at the Waipuna Conference Centre in Auckland on 2829 April 2004.

    The first speaker was Associate Min-ister of Transport Harry Duynhoven.

    Harry gave an update on the Gov-ernment viewpoint on the maritime industry, and stated there had not been enough consideration on the impact of Transport on workers health and qual-ity of life.

    He went on to say that Transport should be taken off the roads and placed on Coastal Shipping which was the best way of transporting cargo around New Zealand.

    Harry then spoke on issues that had been debated by the Shipping Industry Review select committee.

    He went on to expand on coastal shipping, especially coastal tugs and barging, and addressed tax breaks on coastal shipping, second registers, closer economic relations (CER) with Australia, maritime industry training and cabo-tage.

    Harry was firm in his position that coastal shipping must be supported.

    He went on to talk about port and shipping security issues, and stated there would be zero tolerance with any non-compliance of port security after 1 July 2004.

    Risk assessment from the ports are well advanced and in most cases ap-proved.

    Prior to his presentation, Harry made a special reference to Dave Morgans contribution to the maritime industry.

    The second speaker was Chief Execu-tive Officer of CentrePort Limited, Liz Ward, who spoke on assessing the role of ports in embracing other facilities and extending the wharf gate.

    She spoke on the need to deepen port channels so as to accommodate larger vessels and how this will mean less port calls.

    She expanded on how port compa-nies should operate regarding customer priorities, the supply chain, and the management of land and port assets for the best long term future.

    Liz concluded by addressing the conference on the lessons to be learned regarding moving cargo as efficiently as possible through the Port and on rail or road transport corridors.

    After the morning smoko the next

    speaker was Chief Executive of Pacifica Transport Group and President of the New Zealand Shipping Federation, Rod Grout.

    Rod spoke on the number of over-seas vessels carrying domestic cargo, with the estimate for 2003 being 250 vessels, which has created a downward pressure on coastal rates.

    The cost of a 20 container Auckland to Lyttelton has been decreased by 40%.

    Rod stated that this has had a major impact on the Pacifica Coastal Fleet and the total employed had decreased from four vessels and 200 staff (January 2003) to two vessels and 130 staff (January 2004.)

    He spoke further on the decline of coastal shipping, and noted how in 1994 eleven New Zealand companies had operated 29 vessels and by 2003 this had declined to five companies with four-teen vessels, with the estimated loss of 2000 maritime jobs.

    Rod concluded by noting there had been fewer ship visits to New Zealand but bigger vessels arriving - 2940 vessels had arrived in 1998, but only 2400 ves-sels in 2003.

    The next speaker was Director of Maritime Safety at the Maritime Safety Authority Russell Kilvington, who gave an overview of the new maritime secu-rity framework.

    He spoke on maritime security com-pliance and how ship and port facilities were seen as soft targets.

    Russell stated that ships can be used to transport weapons of mass destruc-tion, be used as weapons themselves and when in ports and terminals poten-tially be used to attack critical infrastruc-ture.

    He concluded by stating New Zea-lands maritime security task 19 port facilities, the Maui offshore platform, four New Zealand flagged ships and over 2500 foreign ships that call annual-ly, including 40 passenger ships carrying 50 000 passengers.

    After lunch on day one, the next speaker was Secretary of the Importers Institute Daniel Silva.

    He gave a review of the new MAF standards for imported containers, and spoke on a range of import and export matters as well as biosecurity issues.

    Daniel concluded by addressing the question of container inspections.

    The following speaker was Director of the New Zealand Maritime School at the Manukau Institute of Technology, Tim Wilson, who spoke on New Zealand Shipping and Ports - Influences and Challenges.

    He spoke about ship security and the attacks on vessels by pirates in Asian waters.

    With all the extra ship security there still seems to be a reluctance by ship managers to put extra crew on vessels to assist with the extra work load that ship security brings.

    Tim went on to talk about market behaviour over freight rates, and con-cluded by addressing box freight rates, maritime safety, environmental protec-tion, ships of shame and state control of ports.

    The first speaker on day two of the Forum was General Manager Opera-tions of Carter Holt Harvey, Chinthaka Abeywickrama.

    Chinthaka spoke on drivers of the charter market and the impact on the Australasian region, as well as shipping markets, industry segmentation, sup-ply/demand variables, the ship build-ing market, freight market and sale and purchase market.

    Chinthaka concluded on the topic of the container supply market.

    The second speaker on day two was Dave Morgan of the Maritime Union of New Zealand.

    Dave spoke on labour perspectives in New Zealand and global shipping, and went on to address the amalgamation of the New Zealand Seafarers Union and the Waterfront Workers Union, which had been a great success.

    He went on to say that it was a timely coming together as both seafar-ers and waterfront workers were facing some of their gravest challenges yet.

    Dave went on to discuss the open coast policy and said that unless imme-diate action was taken, the New Zealand shipping industry will not be around or exist in any meaningful sense.

    He noted recent crane collapses on board flag of convenience ships in the ports of Bluff, Port Chalmers and Auck-land, and spoke on ship security, port security and biosecurity issues.

    Daves paper had a section on the excessive competition that is undermin-ing the viability of our ports, and the contracting out of labour and problem of yellow unions, with the result that job security is non-existent and the future of young people in the maritime industry is bleak.

    His paper concluded with mention of some of the good progress made in certain areas.

    These included the Holidays Act, the prevention of self-loading attempts by foreign crews, resistance to attacks from casualizing employers, our relationship with the Maritime Union of Austra-lia, and the good work done with the support of the International Transport Workers Federation.

    The first speaker after smoko was General Manager Commercial of Ham-burg Sud, Bo Samuelsson.

  • Port Roundup:Auckland Local 13

    by Denis Carlisle

    There has been a lot of activity in the port recently mainly generated around the renegotiation of the Ports of Auckland

    Ltd employees Collective Employment Agreement.

    This agreement cant be described as a slim volume as it comprises some ten schedules.

    These schedules have application to a wide range of classifications within our membership.

    The process of a comprehensive parallel negotiation requires a lot of co-ordinated negotiation involving elected

    negotiators.At times we have up to fifteen union

    negotiators at the table, but from an inclusive participation perspective it is a valuable educational opportunity for our job delegates.

    The membership is well prepared and it is fair to say, during my time as president I have never witnessed such a collective commitment to take direct action to resolve our claims.

    I would like to take this opportunity to thank the branches who have sent let-ters of support.

    The Auckland membership appreci-ates these expressions of support at this time.

    It reinforces our collective intent that is essential in difficult times.

    Port Roundup:Mt. Maunganui

    by Phil Spanswick

    Greeting from Mt Maunganui.

    Log exports are still down and dont look like improving for a while yet.

    On the negotiations front we are in mediation with Toll Logistics on 25 Au-gust in an attempt to bring the negotia-tions to a conclusion.

    On 25 August a combined meeting of Maritime Union and Rail and Mari-time Union members will take place for all members working for Owens Cargo Company.

    At the meeting it is the intention to negotiate a combined Collective Agree-ment for Owens Cargo Company in Mt Maunganui.

    The proposed joint venture between the Port of Tauranga Ltd/Toll Holdings Ltd (Newco)/Owens Cargo Company Ltd is before the Commerce Commis-sion and the decision is expected on 20 September.

    The Branch had a visit from a Labour Inspector earlier in the month to check out a number of entitlement issues for casual workers, which we are pursuing.

    An accident happened on the S.Venus while it was in port on 17 Au-gust, when the pins at the heel of the jib came out and the jib with a load of logs fell down.

    Luckily no one was hurt.

    At the Auckland picket: Phil (Pole) Angus and Local 13 Health and Safety Officer Bob Riwai

    Auckland Seafarers supporters at the picket: Patrick Honan, Archie Hawkins and Handsome Garry Parsloe

    He spoke on investigating trade lanes and international trade routes for the New Zealand maritime indus-try, and addressed New Zealand trade development and the total trade change 1998-2003.

    Bo concluded by discussing how security issues will affect our trade.

    The next speaker was Prinicipal of Intermodal Project Consulting, Peter Carr, who spoke on identifying changes to ownership of the cold chain.

    Peter addressed the distribution of cargo, the reefer trade and reefer capac-ity, and concluded by addressing how old habits in the reefer trade die hard but we must change to succeed.

    All in all the forum was an interest-ing one.

  • Port Roundup:Napier

    by Bill Connelly

    Around and aboutThe port is rea-

    sonably quiet at the moment, with the sea-sonal exports of fruit

    and squash completed for another year.Ohope Beach Accommodation in

    New ZealandMembers should be aware that the

    holiday accommodation at Ohope Beach is now at a premium, because we now only have the one unit available for rental.

    Vacancies are still available com-mencing each Sunday, on a weekly basis.

    Bookings can be made through the Napier Branch, by contacting the Secre-tary either at the Union Office, his home or on his mobile telephone number.

    Gold Coast Accommodation in Australia

    Please note that the confirmation pe-riod for bookings is now SIX MONTHS, which put quite simply means that members nationally can now book six months in advance.

    The next vacancy is a two-week period commencing Saturday 15 January 2005.

    Other vacancies for 2005 are available on request from the Secretary.

    Labour Affiliates Council (Hawkes Bay)

    The Labour Affiliates Council (LAC) for Hawkes Bay was launched on Friday 6 July 2004 and was