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www.munz.org.nz The Maritimes | Winter 2013 | 1 Issue 42 • Winter 2013 Magazine of the Maritime Union of New Zealand ISSN 1176-3418 The Maritimes

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The official magazine of the Maritime Union of New Zealand

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  • www.munz.org.nz The Maritimes | Winter 2013 | 1

    Issue 42 Winter 2013 Magazine of the Maritime Union of New Zealand ISSN 1176-3418

    The Maritimes

  • For secure jobs and public ownership

    New Zealand workers are under attack By Peter Conway New Zealand Council of Trade Unions Secretary

    New Zealand workers are facing yet another attack on their wages and conditions of work. The government is proposing to weaken the Employment Relations Act.This follows changes the government has already made cutting youth pay rates, reducing union access, limiting the scope of appeals against unfair dismissal, and removing rights for workers in their first 90 days of employment.The latest changes are in a bill that will be debated in Parliament in coming months and will be the subject of an active campaign by unions.The main effect of the changes will be to reduce wages and conditions by weakening the rules on collective bargaining.Low wages are already pushing thousands and thousands of Kiwis to leave for Australia with a record loss in the last year. These changes will make it even worse.We know that collective bargaining is under attack in many countries. It is typical of New Zealands centre-right National government to do this as they did in 1991 with the vicious Employment Contracts Act. This latest bill is moving us back very close to that regime.The Employment Relations Act includes promoting collective bargaining as one of its objects.Yet this bill is designed to undermine collective bargaining. New Zealand has also ratified the main International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention that promotes collective bargaining. Unions will therefore develop a complaint to the ILO.

    What does the legislation do?Allow employers to end negotiation when they likeCurrently, the law requires that employers conclude a process of collective bargaining unless there is a genuine reason, based on reasonable grounds, not to. This change will let employers say they have had enough of bargaining at any point and there will be nothing workers can do. Employers can surface bargain. Also employers will be able threaten to give workers jobs to someone else while they are bargaining to force them to agree. And right from the outset when the union has initiated bargaining for a collective employment agreement, the employer can openly state a preference for individual agreements and effectively refuse to bargain.

    Remove protection for new workersCurrently a new worker in a workplace with a collective employment agreement is automatically employed on the basis of that collective agreement for their first 30 days of employment. This also applies to non-union workers. It protects them from being offered inferior terms and conditions to everyone else.This change will force a new worker to choose straight away, making them vulnerable to pressure from the employer to accept a worse offer. Over time this will undermine everybodys terms and conditions. In fact, the Cabinet paper recommending these changes, signed by the Minister of Labour, actually says they, will enable employers to offer individual terms and conditions that are less than those in the collective agreement.

    Undermine industry dealsEmployers will be able to opt out of multi-employer bargaining which will jeopardise the few industry-wide agreements that have been negotiated.

    Make it more difficult to strikeEmployers will be able to use what is in effect a strike tax. If workers take industrial action in the form of refusing to do some duties, the employer can either calculate a deduction or simply apply a 10 per cent pay cut. Employers however can partially lock out workers with no such penalty.

    Reduce meal and refreshment breaksMeal and refreshment breaks can be of a time and duration as specified by the employer provided there is a reasonable compensatory measure. This undermines entitlement to proper breaks and threatens health and safety.

    And moreThere are many other changes that attack work rights. For instance, small businesses that win contracts will not have to comply with transfer protections for vulnerable workers, the small time-period advantage unions have over employers to initiate collective bargaining is removed, written notice is now required for any strike, and access to information in redundancy situations is reduced.New Zealand unions are campaigning against this bill. We know that the government is trying to portray these changes as technical.Our campaign will highlight the effect of this bill on pay, conditions, health and safety and work rights. But our campaign is not just to retain the current law.We know that the Employment Relations Act as it stands is too weak. We need a law that can underpin extension of collective bargaining into more widespread industry documents.The campaign will include stop work meetings, regional rallies, lobbying, building momentum around submissions, profiling workers stories, and getting our message out to everyone about the impact of these changes and the need for a better law that can lift pay.This campaign will connect the dots between employment law changes and the widespread concern in New Zealand about low pay alongside rising inequality.

    For more details visithttp://union.org.nz/whycutourpay

    Why cut our pay?

  • www.munz.org.nz The Maritimes | Winter 2013 | 3

    The Maritimes Magazine

    Published quarterly by the Maritime Union of New Zealand. Authorized by Joe Fleetwood, 220 Willis Street, Wellington.ISSN 1176-3418

    Editor: Victor BillotMobile: 021 482219Email: [email protected]: PO Box 8135, Dunedin 9041, New Zealand

    Editorial Board: Joe Fleetwood, Garry Parsloe, Ray Fife and Carl Findlay

    Deadline for Spring 2013 edition: 1 September 2013

    Cover photo: Dean Smith and Irving Mackechnie lashing trains on the rail deck of the Interislander ferry Arahura, photo by Alan Windsor.

    Thanks to photographers Alan Windsor, Dave Phillips, Alf Boyle, Richard Rankin, Simon Oosterman, Terry Whitehead, ITF

    Website: www.munz.org.nzPhotos: www.flickr.com/maritimeunionVideo: www.youtube.com/maritimeunionnzFacebook: www.facebook.com/maritimeunionTwitter: www.twitter.com/maritimeunion

    The Maritime Union of New Zealand is affiliated to the International Transport Workers Federation www.itfglobal.org

    Contact the Maritime Union

    National OfficeTelephone: 04 3850 792Fax: 04 3848 766Address: PO Box 27004, Wellington 6141Office administrator: Ramesh PathmanathanEmail: [email protected]

    General Secretary: Joe FleetwoodDirect dial: 04 8017614Mobile: 021 364649Email: [email protected]

    National President: Garry ParsloeDirect dial: 09 3034652Mobile: 021 326261Email: [email protected]

    National Vice President: Carl FindlayDirect dial: 09 3034652Mobile: 021 760887Email: [email protected]

    Assistant General Secretary: Ray Fife Direct dial: 03 2128189Mobile: 0274 475317Email: [email protected]

    ITF Inspector: Grahame MacLarenDirect dial: 04 8017613Mobile: 021 2921782Email: [email protected]

    Communications Officer: Victor BillotMobile: 021 482219Address: PO Box 8135, DunedinEmail: [email protected]

    National Secretarys Report page 4

    International news page 8

    Health and safety page 11

    In this issue

    Branch roundups page 15

    Life in a one dimensional societyEditorial by Victor BillotTheres been a sustained attack for the last generation on unions and the working class in general.Around the developed, capitalist world, the same picture applies, and even in poorer areas of the globe.It comes in many names. Thatcherism in the UK, Reaganism in the USA, Rogernomics and Ruthenasia in New Zealand, were all attempts to give a personal name to these bad 1980s trends.Those names now mean little to many people under forty.Like the memory hole of George Orwells totalitarian world pictured in his novel 1984, we now live in an increasingly one dimensional reality where the hard lessons of the past have been buried under a blizzard of reality television, consumer voyeurism and Facebook updates.Today, following the latest debacle of the global financial crisis, the new buzzword of austerity has taken hold.In Iceland, Ireland, Greece, Spain, Turkey, we see the same pattern repeating in remote places, of repression and resistance.In the newspapers and websites of the corporate media we are fed the line the working people have it too good. Its a different story for the unaccountable plutocrats who control vast swathes of the global economy, and we are likewise told they deserve a fantastic, grotesque wealth, and the unchecked power which sees them dictate their agenda to national governments.Closer to home, the effects of a generation of neoliberal economics and politics have claimed victims too.Those in the wrong place, or those unequipped to thrive in a dog eat dog environment, the young and the old, the sick and the vulnerable, are pushed further and further away from what was once called their community.We dont have a community anymore. Weve got an economy.Even in this market forces paradise, far from the claim of a society where the individual prospers, we live in a nation where for a considerable proportion of the population, life has devolved to a struggle for basic existence. A nation that is rich in natural resources food and building materials sees many of its young go without breakfast and living in mouldy, rotten houses.On the industrial field, unions as the legitimate and essential organisation of the working class, have been marginalised in most industries and treated with contempt by the Government.The effect of these changes has been to disenfranchise and disempower. The response of many on the receiving end is just to sink into despair or give up, the old mantra of theyre all as bad as each other. Its probably because for a growing proportion of the population, they dont have the political and social education that mass union membership once provided.In many cases, people just dont have the physical, intellectual or financial resources to find a way out or think beyond the next pay packet or benefit day. Pointing the finger and blaming is easy enough. But how would a young person today be expected to think any differently, growing up in a fragmented or dysfunctional world, experiencing educational and personal difficulties, and with little hope of steady employment to provide structure and a possible future.The whole point of the last thirty years of right wing political aggression has been to roll back the confidence and organisation of working people. To make life harder and smaller.The balance of power has tipped back towards a small elite and a deluded group of tryhards who think if they do as they are told they will be invited in to the big party.That is why organisations like the Maritime Union have a massive responsibility and leadership role in showing the way to a different and much more attractive future.By keeping alive the ideas of solidarity, social responsibility and collective struggle towards a better world, we play our part.Secure jobs, safe workplaces and the right to housing, health, education and a decent way of life for our families are the practical foundations on which a civilised society must be built upon.

    BLACKRED 1797BLUE 280PROCESS BLUEPLEASE ENSURE ALL DETAILS ARE CORRECT BEFORE GIVING APPROVAL TO PROCEED TO PRODUCTION

    JOB: 34984 v2.0

    26mm

    MARITIME UNION BADGESNICKEL PLATED WITH

    3 ENAMEL INFILLS AND RESIN

    PLATE DEPTH: 2mm FITTING: 1 PIN (9mm) AND CLUTCH ELECTROPLATING: NICKEL

    RESIN

  • 4 | The Maritimes | Winter 2013 www.munz.org.nz

    National council drives maritime agendaNational Secretarys Report By Joe Fleetwood

    National CouncilThe National Council of MUNZ met at Waterside House, Wellington, on 3031 May 2013, as one of our two yearly meetings.This was a constructive couple of days with a busy agenda.Delegates attended from all branches and locals.We had four sector reports on coastal shipping, the offshore oil and gas sector, bulk and general stevedoring, and terminals. These sector reports underpin our national strategy developed over the last several years to provide a forward path for our Union in a tough environment.We are rolling out plans to tackle some of the ongoing issues in our industry, such as yellow associations and growth areas of employment including the offshore industry and inland ports.We also looked at some areas where things can be done better such as improving the pick up for our MUNZ delegate training course and improving reporting of health and safety incidents.The national council had several guests including NZCTU President Helen Kelly and NZCTU Secretary Peter Conway who briefed MUNZ on the threat of the new anti-worker employment law changes proposed by the National Government.We also had MUA Deputy National Secretary Mick Doleman attend and give a very welcome outline of some of the international issues for maritime workers including opportunities for MUNZ and the MUA to build on our already strong working relationship.For the first time at National Council we welcomed newly elected national womens and youth representatives as observers. Marian Lesslie of Wellington has been elected womens rep and Byron Cummings of Auckland as youth rep.

    At the National Council of the Maritime Union of New Zealand, 30 May 2013, Waterside House, Wellington, from left MUNZ National Vice President Carl Findlay, MUNZ National President Garry Parsloe, Maritime Union of Australia Deputy National Secretary Mick Doleman, MUNZ Assistant National Secretary Ray Fife and MUNZ National Secretary Joe Fleetwood

    Training and EducationThe MUNZ Training Course has not yet had the uptake from branches that is required. All branches have been encouraged to book in a training course for delegates. If you are interested in training and education, make it known to your branch officials or contact Craig Harrison at Local 13 for more info.This is a one day course developed especially by MUNZ to be relevant to our members and is taken by experienced Local 13 member Craig Harrison with input from NZ ITF inspector Grahame MacLaren.

    Dockers under global attackOver the last several months we have seen dockers and waterfront workers around the world under sustained attack from employers.The Ports of Auckland dispute is just one of several major battles maritime unions are facing internationally.In Hong Kong a major dispute ended in early May after 40 days of industrial action by dockers.The dockers returned after achieving a 9.8% pay increase, re-employment of laid off workers, improved health and safety and rest breaks.The other interesting thing is that the company the Hong Kong dockers were taking on was Hutchison Port Holdings, owned by one of Chinas wealthiest capitalists, Li Kashing.HPH was the private partner in the failed part privatization of the Ports of Lyttelton in 2006.Meanwhile, our brothers and sisters of the ILWU are facing a lockout at the big grain export port of Vancouver, Washington. (This port on the north west coast of the United States of America is not to be confused with the Canadian city which shares the name of Vancouver to the north.)

  • www.munz.org.nz The Maritimes | Winter 2013 | 5

    Once again a globalized employer is on the offensive this time Japanese conglomerate Mitsui-United Grain, since February 27, 2013. This lockout is an anti union attack and an attempt to avoid negotiating with workers in good faith.All around the world, we are seeing the same struggles and the same corporate agenda at work. Outsourcing, contracting out, and the influence of GNT (global network terminal) operators and major transnational corporations are the common themes.The lesson is clear. Capital and corporate power is increasingly global. The only answer to this trend is globalizing solidarity workers uniting internationally to defend and advance our common interests.On this note, it has been great to see the ITF providing full support in all these disputes.

    Automation must work for people, not just profits Closer to home, a MUNZ delegation recently attended the MUA conference on port automation.This is a big issue across the Tasman at the moment.The MUA says the plan by Patricks Stevedores to automate Port Botany in Sydney is being driven by a de-unionization agenda.Technological change is a reality but our goal as unions must be to make sure changes work for workers, not just the profit levels of the 1%.Otherwise were going to end up with a very small number of extremely rich owners, a highly automated economy, and lots of underemployed or unemployed workers.The key message that came out of the conference: Automation is a fact of life on the docks, and unions are willing to negotiate the terms of introduction of technology but the global maritime labour movement will confront automation imposed via Patrick-like corporate shadiness.

    Reducing trainee sea time a bad ideaMUNZ recently made a submission on proposed changes to Maritime Rules by Maritime New Zealand relating to seafarer qualifications and certification.We want any new qualifications to ensure that standards are maintained in industry.Any system must be based on protecting the lives and wellbeing of seafarers and the public through maritime safety.On this point, weve made it clear we oppose the proposed reduction in hours of sea service required to obtain qualifications under the new regime.

    Asset sale of the century for privatising GovernmentThe National Government has made its agenda clear. It doesnt take a genius to work out that these first asset sales are just testing the waters to see what else they can flog off to their corporate predator mates.Weve seen it all before. Its the sale of the century and the benefits flow once again to a minority. New Zealanders will be left as tenants in their own country.MUNZ has supported the campaign against asset sales.The announcement of the Labour/Green power policy together with ongoing uncertainty about the viability of Tiwai Point smelter has meant the sale of Mighty River shares has not gone to plan for the Government.How long before the global operators and the finance industry ticket clippers get a go at some cut price New Zealand ports?This is about the future of our families. Lets keep the peoples assets in the peoples ownership.

    Putting the boot into workersMore rotten business is afoot as the National Government rolls out the Employment Relations Act Amendment Bill.Most changes have been anticipated and unions have been preparing for them.Some of the worst aspects of the proposed law are allowing employers to end negotiation when they like, the removal of protections for new workers, and making Collective Bargaining more difficult.This is part of the right wing agenda to reduce the wages and rights of working people to benefit the profit levels of business. MUNZ is working with the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions on their national campaign Why cut out pay? against these reactionary policies.

    Toxic boxes in our portsMethyl bromide has been in the news again recently.A Customs Service report released last year on the quiet identified a high level of containers randomly sampled at Port of Tauranga had levels of toxic chemicals present at above safe levels (including methyl bromide).MUNZ is following up this report with Customs and has received a copy. Were going to be making the point that if workers health and wellbeing are in danger, workers should be the first to know not the last.

    Fishing industry Ships of Shame not fixed yetThe Government was forced to take action after widespread publicity about the foreign charter vessel (FCV) ships of shame in the New Zealand fishing industry started to become an international embarrassment.MUNZ is following the issue to ensure that the words translate into action.The union presented a submission on the Fisheries (Foreign Charter Vessels and Other Matters) Amendment Bill to the Primary Production Select Committee on 9 May.Along with the CTU and Service and Food Workers Union, were calling for a shorter deadline for FCV reflagging to the New Zealand flag (specifically 1 May 2014).We also want to see a framework for job opportunities for New Zealand workers in their own industry.MUNZ has called for more extensive powers for authorities to prevent abuses and illegal activity in the fishing industry, to ensure the wellbeing of crews.Finally, we want an investigation into the role of foreign labour hire agencies in recruiting overseas crews and how immigration officials have worked with them.There is still a lot to this story that we havent seen.

    Local body electionsThe 2013 local body elections will be held in the last few months of this year.All major ports in New Zealand are owned or part-owned by local authorities.The most obvious example is Ports of Auckland.Workers need to get behind candidates who advocate secure jobs and social responsibility by public owned companies.The first step is to ensure we are enrolled to vote you can check to see whether you are enrolled on the www.elections.org.nz website.

  • 6 | The Maritimes | Winter 2013 www.munz.org.nz

    Special MUA National Council Meeting, Sydney, Australia, 2224 April 2013

    By Garry Parsloe National PresidentOn 22-24 April 2013 I attended a Special MUA National Council meeting in Sydney.This Special National Council meeting was called to focus heavily on the upcoming Federal Elections and the areas of policy and strategy that the MUA considers unfinished business from Labors first and second term in office.On the morning of the first day (22 April) the Council heard a report from Paddy Crumlin headed Positioning the Union in the current political context, preparing to fight an Election and beyond.Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Anthony Albanese addressed the Council on The Governments Maritime, Freight Transport and Infrastructure Agenda for a third term.There was a presentation from ALP National Secretary George Wright, Tasmin Lloyd, ALP National Secretariat, and ACTU Election Campaign Manager Daniel Mookhey, under the heading Overview of ALP and ACTU, Trade Union Election Campaign Strategy.After lunch Deputy National Secretary Mick Doleman addressed the Council under the heading of The MUA role in the ACTU Trade Union Election Campaign.Mick spoke about how important the MUA Strategy Campaign was and that the Union was already well under way with the Campaign, e.g. writing to every member in the Union stressing the importance of supporting the Labor Government into a third term.Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, and Minister for Industry and Innovation Greg Combet, addressed the Council under the heading of Defeating Tony Abbott. Greg pointed out all the dangers of a change of Government. He stated that if there was a change of Government there will be an immediate attack on workers, their Unions and all the hard won conditions of employment.Minister for Immigration and Citizenship Brendan OConnor spoke to Council under the heading of Implementing the migration Maritime task force recommendations. This is a very important issue for the MUA and is all about job protection and job retention.Day Two (23 April) opened with an address from Paddy Crumlin around Superannuation issues.The National Secretary of the CFMEU then addressed Council on all the problems contained within the administration of Super Funds.The next Session was on Alliances and Amalgamations.Paddy Crumlin spoke on sharing resources, and building alliances. He stated that small unions do not have the punch that larger unions have and whilst Maritime Unions punch above their weight, it is also important to have the numbers within an alliance.This issue was opened up to National Council delegates who all spoke positively and recorded their support.The next Session was headed Stevedoring Automation.The first speaker was Assistant National Secretary Warren Smith. Warren addressed all the problems for workers on the Docks with automation.Mick Doleman spoke on an action plan to protect Dockers jobs. Human labour is still necessary even in fully automated terminals.After lunch we had a Session under the heading Reaffirming the Unions Workforce Development, Skills and Training Agenda.

    Paddy Crumlin expanded on the lack of training and how the planning for training going forward is being put in place for Deck Hands and Able Seamen onto Integrated Ratings.Day three (24 April) opened with a Session under the heading Offshore Safety.This presentation was delivered by Deputy National Secretary Mick Doleman. Mick spoke on Health and Safety Training and other safety issues along with database participation.The next agenda item was MUA Rules. Paddy addressed some proposed rule changes and issues around voting.Once again the MUA has held a positive and productive National Council.

    Mining and Maritime International Committee Meeting, Sydney, Australia, 1 May 2013

    By Garry Parsloe National PresidentAfter the Automation Meeting that was held on the 2930 April, National Secretary Joe Fleetwood and I attended the Mining and Maritime International Committee Meeting on the 1 May 2013.After introductions, MUA Deputy National Secretary Mick Doleman gave an overview of the role of the Mining and Maritime Committee.The first report was from CFMEU Mining Division National Secretary Andrew Vickers under the heading of Rio Tinto Network. Andrew reported on issues around and with Rio Tinto.Next was MUA Deputy National Secretary Ian Bray who gave a report on the Rio Tinto Newcastle dispute. Rio Tinto are attacking workers and their Unions at every opportunity. There were reports on the AWU Rio Tinto victory and Bell Bay organising outcomes.Next there was a presentation from the ILWU on their ongoing problems in their grain terminals, with the Mitsui dispute in Vancouver, Washington, USA)This has been a long dispute where the ILWU International President Bob McEllrath was sent to prison for 24 hours for his actions in defending his members coverage. This dispute is ongoing and the ILWU have a campaign in place and will fight this encroachment into their traditional work coverage.The report on the Chevron Campaign really highlighted how this United States based oil and gas company is out of control.It is the third largest company in the U.S.A and is aggressively anti-Union. It has a history of environmental, labour and human rights violations.Paul Goulter gave a presentation of the working of the ITUC (International Trade Union Confederation) which is the global union organisation. The areas of focus are:1. Global injustice, inequity and inequality.2. Global threats to peace, democracy and rights and sustainability.3. Decent jobs, minimum wages, social protection, collective bargaining and poverty reduction.In the next session both Joe Fleetwood and I gave reports on the Ports of Auckland dispute.We spoke on all the reprehensible behaviour of the Port Company and the long hard road in getting justice on these issues.The next session was a presentation from ITF Campaigns Director Shannon OKeefe. Shannon addressed all the problems in Papua New Guinea and the Pacific region.Once again the Mining and Maritime Committee has produced a positive and productive meeting.

    MUA fights for pro-worker Government

    Mining & Maritime workers mobilize to defend jobs

  • www.munz.org.nz The Maritimes | Winter 2013 | 7

    Trans Tasman Transport Unions Federation Meeting, Sydney, Australia, 1 May 2013

    By Garry Parsloe National PresidentIn the afternoon after the Mining and Maritime meeting Joe Fleetwood and I attended the Trans Tasman Transport Federation meeting.The meeting opened with each Union giving a report on some of the disputes that their Union is involved in.At this stage of the meeting both Joe and I gave in-depth reports on all aspects of our dispute with the Ports of Auckland.There was a session on Unions relationship with Toll.FIRST Union, MUA, TWU and RMTU all have a relationship with Toll.FIRST Union gave a report on the Linfox dispute in Thailand. They expanded on Union coverage and recruitment issues.The meeting discussed potential TUF Campaigns and the ITF Asia Pacific meeting in Hong Kong 13-17 May 2013.Again, these meetings are always positive and productive.

    Trans Tasman Unity for transport workers

    Asia Pacific SolidarityThe 8th ITF Asia/Pacific Regional Conference, 1317 May 2013, Hong Kong

    By Garry Parsloe Convenor, New Zealand ITF AffiliatesOn the 13 May 2013 Joe Fleetwood and I attended the first day, which was the Asia/Pacific Seafarers Regional Committee in the morning and in the afternoon we attended the Asia/Pacific joint Seafarers and Dockers meeting.In the morning session we heard reports on disputes and struggles in the Asia/Pacific Region.The afternoon joint session addressed mutual areas of support e.g. Seafarers dont do Dockers work.There was also an in-depth report on the recent Hong Kong Dockers dispute.At the end of day one we had the Inspectorate Review.Day two Tuesday 14 May 2013 opened under the heading Organising to build strong Transport Unions in the Asia/Pacific Region. The speakers were Regional Secretary (Asia/Pacific Region) ITF Mahendra Sharma, ITF Hong Kong Affiliates representative Captain T.T. Chung, Chairperson of the APRC Hanafi Rustandi, International Labour Organization Representative Shigeru Wada, and General Secretary ITUC Asia/Pacific Noriyaki Suzuki, General Secretary of ITF David Cockroft, International President ITF Paddy Crumlin, and Acting General Secretary ITF Stephen Cotton.All the speakers were positive and uplifting. They spoke on disputes and campaigns and on a way forward for the ITF.In the afternoon session we had a number of reports on Flag of Convenience and Port of Convenience campaigns, also reports on current ITF issues.Day three was a day spent on Freight Logistics.There were in-depth reports on supply chain organising opportunities and challenges for the ITF Affiliates in the Region.There was a Panel discussion headed Delivering the Supply Chain Strategy. At the end of the day we had reports on Global Network Terminal (GNT) organising in Mumbai and organising Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) supply chain in Papua New Guinea reports.Day four opened with a Young Transport workers meeting.Then before lunch we had the Fisheries Workers Section meeting.After lunch we had the APRC Plenary Session which was a good platform for a lively debate around the challenges for Unions in the Asia/Pacific Region.Later in the afternoon we had a Session on Gender/Women Transport Workers and a second Section on Education.At the end of the day we had the reports back from the Section meetings and remarks from the outgoing General Secretary.On the last day (Friday) we had reports on Transport and Fisheries, ITF Congress 2014 briefing, ITF Congress Theme document and the APRC Elections.One again the ITF Asia/Pacific Regional Conference delivered a positive and productive forum where we were able to discuss and put in place ways in which we can build Union strength and solidarity and also build the ITF in the Asia/Pacific Region.

    Ports of Auckland dispute updateFacilitationAs of the time of writing, facilitation is on hold while our legal case on the health and safety of rosters progresses.

    InjunctionThe union is not proceeding with the injunction applications, which were to be heard by the Employment Court on 15 and 16 May 2013. The reason that the union withdrew these applications is that an agreement was reached with POAL as to the employing and promoting of stevedores, and that POAL would discuss these issues with the union prior to making decisions. POAL also agreed to treat MUNZ members fairly in relation to employment and engagement and not to discriminate against MUNZ members in employment and engagement.

    RostersIt was also clear from the evidence filed in the Employment Court, that while Portpro and lEA workers are on flexible rosters, their patterns of work are still basically the same as for MUNZ members. The company has agreed to tell the union if this changes, so that the impact of the flexible rosters on the health and safety of union members can be brought back to Court by MUNZ if necessary. The union is also seeking a date for a substantive hearing so that these issues can be finally resolved. It is surprising that there is no reference to the agreements which are obviously important in the POAL publicity about the union withdrawing the injunction applications.

    The union hopes that the arrangements put in place with POAL will work, and that a new level of trust between POAL and the union will lead to positive outcomes in concluding a collective agreement.

  • 8 | The Maritimes | Winter 2013 www.munz.org.nz

    ILWU fights Grain merchants lockoutLongshore workers in Oregon and Washington are continuing their round-the-clock fight for a fair contract at grain terminals owned by some of the worlds largest grain corporations nearly a year after negotiations began last August. ILWU workers have exported a significant portion of the nations grain through Northwest ports under a collective bargaining agreement that dates back to the 1930s.Of the four employers in the Pacific Northwest Grain Handlers Association, three are waging an attack on the ILWU workforce. Two Japanese-owned companies, Mitsui-United Grain in Vancouver, WA, and Marubeni-Columbia Grain in Portland, have locked out ILWU members under dubious conditions and imported scab replacement workers. A third company, French-owned Louis Dreyfus, operates grain export terminals in Seattle and Portland. All three foreign companies imposed a contract in December that had been rejected by union members by a 94% no vote.The fourth US based grain employer is TEMCO, owned by U.S.-based Cargill and CHS, with terminals in Kalama, Tacoma and Portland. Unlike the foreign-owned grain corporations, TEMCO declined to impose unilateral concessionary terms on workers and chose instead to negotiate a collective bargaining agreement that was ratified by 74% of the members of Locals 4, 8, 19, 21 and 23 in February.The ITF (International Transport Workers Federation) has reiterated its and its member unions continuing concern over the unacceptable lockout of workers. The ITF laid out its views on the dispute in a formal complaint to Masami Iijima, president and CEO of Mitsui Limited.More information at www.ilwu.org

    No to asset salesMaritime workers joined thousands of people in rallies in cities around New Zealand on Saturday 27 April to demand no asset sales.Maritime Union of New Zealand national secretary Joe Fleetwood says the union strongly supports keeping public owned assets.Its about looking out for the majority.Mr Fleetwood says all New Zealanders are currently shareholders in public assets including state owned power companies, and it should stay that way.Any privatisation is simply narrowing the benefit to a minority of people, and as we have seen many times before, these assets will eventually end up in the hands of big global investors.He says there has been a strong positive reaction to the announcement of the Labour/Green joint power policy which was a move in the right direction.Mr Fleetwood says there is also substantial concern about the privatisation threat to ports in New Zealand, many of which are owned by local Government for the benefit of local communities.He says this will be a hot issue during the local body elections later this year.

    Hong Kong port strike. Workers fighting for improved pay and decent working conditions at the Port of Hong Kong have voted to call off their industrial action after accepting an improved wage offer and promises of further negotiations on working conditions as well as an assurance that there will be no retaliation against workers who participated in the strike. Responding to the news, ITF president Paddy Crumlin commented: The Union of Hong Kong Dockers, supported by the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions, has won a real victory: a pay rise and promises of continuing dialogue on working conditions and health and safety. Their bravery has been rewarded. We in the ITF and the wider union movement are proud to have been able to mobilise the international support they deserved and needed.

  • www.munz.org.nz The Maritimes | Winter 2013 | 9

    Enrol now to vote in local body elections Everyone correctly enrolled by Friday 16 August 2013 will get their voting papers for the 2013 local elections sent to them in the mail. The Electoral Commission will be running an enrolment campaign from Monday 1 July to Friday 16 August 2013 to get as many people as possible enrolled to vote for the local elections.From Monday 1 July 2013 everyone enrolled will get sent an enrolment update pack in the mail. All you need to do is check that your details are right. If they are correct you will get your voting papers sent to you in the mail. If anything needs updating, make the changes and send them back to us immediately.If you dont get a pack by Thursday 4 July 2013 you are not correctly enrolled to vote, and you need to enrol. You can also enrol by Freetexting your name and address to 3676, from your local PostShop or by calling 0800 36 76 56. If youre not enrolled in time by Friday 16 August 2013 you wont get your voting papers sent to you in the mail.

    ENROL, CHECK OR UPDATE NOW!In New Zealand the law says that you must be enrolled on the electoral roll. You must enrol if you: are 18 years or older, and have lived in New Zealand for more than one year continuously at some time in your life, and are a New Zealand citizen, or are a permanent resident of New Zealand.More information at www.elections.org.nz

    Strike breaking law proposed by National MPNew Zealand unions are preparing to fight against a private members bill by a National MP that would allow casual workers to be employed during a strike specifically as strike busters. Jami-Lee Ross Employment Relations (Continuity of Labour) Bill is another attack on collective bargaining and would reduce wages, says the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions.CTU Secretary Peter Conway says National has rejected this policy to date and we encourage them not to change their mind.Workers are already campaigning against the Employment Relations Amendment Bill which will reduce wages and this Bill is just another attack.Fair employment laws that encourage collective bargaining as the way to higher wages and productive and safe workplaces, not changes that undermine bargaining and make it even harder for workers to get ahead, would be a much better way.

    Warning over overseas labour in Rena cleanup Jobs on the Rena clean up project are going to overseas workers while New Zealand seafarers are out of work.Maritime Union of New Zealand National Secretary Joe Fleetwood says he is concerned that two jobs on the ocean going tug Resolve Commander continue to be worked by overseas crew members while local seafarers who are able to do the work are unemployed.The Union has been told that the Associate Minister of Immigration Nikki Kaye had approved extensions of expired work visas for Filipino crew members who had already been working for over a year on the vessel. He says had not had any satisfactory answers as to why this was allowed, and MUNZ has asked for a meeting with the Minister to discuss the problem.Mr Fleetwood says it is especially galling that the situation was with the Rena clean up.Here we have a flag of convenience, overseas owned and crewed ship that ended up on a reef with great financial and environmental cost. Now the New Zealand taxpayer is footing the bill for the clean up, but skilled and trained New Zealand seafarers are denied work on the project and are not able to contribute to their own country.Mr Fleetwood says the Union has no problem with overseas workers being employed on New Zealand terms and conditions but only if all qualified New Zealand workers in the industry already had jobs.Otherwise this is just a recipe for attacking wages and conditions, putting New Zealanders out of work, and reducing industry standards.The Union carried out much work assisting overseas seafarers free of charge as an affiliate of the ITF.Responsibility for the situation lies with the employer and the Government, he says.It appeared that some employers were pushing the boundaries and the Government was apparently happy with New Zealand workers being kept out of work deliberately.There had been ongoing lack of training opportunities for New Zealanders in the industry and overseas workers were being used to allow some employers to renege on their obligation to employ and train local workers, says Mr Fleetwood.He says the Union expected substantial jobs growth in the offshore oil and gas industry for seafarers in the future and was raising a flag of warning that those jobs should be going to local workers if available.What we dont want to see is this industry being used as a money machine for global big business while New Zealand workers are denied well paid jobs in their own national industry.

    Labours NZ Power policyThe problem Prices for households have been increasing at double the rate of inflation. Prices are rising faster than most of our major competitor countries. The gulf between industrial and residential prices in New Zealand is the second highest in the OECD.

    Why Prices are Rising so Fast?First, there is a lack of competition in the electricity market. The Wolak report found the four big generators made super profits of $4.3 billion at the expense of consumers.Second, the pricing system isnt fair to consumers.New Zealand is a country rich in low-cost renewable power. But consumers see no benefit from that.Hydroelectric power makes up almost two-thirds of our electricity, and it costs next to nothing to generate because it uses free water and dams that were paid off years ago.But when this electricity is sold on the market, the companies get paid the same amount as other generators using more expensive methods, like gas.That means in most cases electricity is selling for much more than it costs the company to generate. Generators end up earning super-profits using free water and freehold dams.

    Labours SolutionA new agency called NZ Power will act as a single buyer of wholesale electricity. It will also have the power to set prices.NZ Power will introduce a fairer pricing system where electricity companies get a fair return and consumers finally get a fair go.

    Impact of PolicyPower prices for the average household will drop by $230 - $330 a year. Businesses will also see prices lower by between 5 and 7 per cent on average. This policy will create 5,000 jobs and boost the economy by $450 million.

    For more information see www.labour.org.nz/nzpower

  • 10 | The Maritimes | Winter 2013 www.munz.org.nz

    By Lisa GossageWorkers responsible for opening up incoming containers, travelling via New Zealand ports, could be exposed to a pandoras box of dangerous gases, a study has shown.The Report on the outcomes of fumigant risk study, commissioned by the New Zealand Customs Service, targeted nine fumigants and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) - benzene, chloropicrin, ethylene dibromide, ethylene oxide, formaldehyde, hydrogen cyanide, methyl bromide, phosphine, and toluene. These chemicals are toxic to human beings through inhalation, skin, or eye contact, and pose health and safety risks to people working with the containers.The study found that almost 90 percent of containers sampled had at least one of the fumigants/VOCs present and in many instances multiple fumigants/VOCs were detected in a single container. Over 18 percent of in-coming containers sampled contained fumigant levels above the safe reporting level and some concentrations were in excess of 100 times that level. It also found that less than one percent of the sampled containers were displaying the correct fumigant signage outside the containers.The study was carried out at the Port of Tauranga between February and June 2011, where 519 containers were sampled. It was published in May 2012 but its findings only recently came to light through Freedom of Information Act requests. Not going public immediately with the findings led to criticisms from the Maritime Union and the Green Party, amongst others. Customs Service says that they did not withhold the report and that it was circulated to the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI), who shared a direct interest in the study, and the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), who are responsible for ensuring workplace safety in the wider community. It has also been given out to anyone requesting a copy.National Secretary of the Maritime Union, Joe Fleetwood, says that the report exposes massive safety risks around toxic gases in shipping containers - risks that workers are being placed in every day.

    The report shows that levels of toxins were present in most containers, and one in five containers was not safe.In the worst case, methyl bromide was found in one container at a level of 50,000 parts per billion over a 100 times more than the safe reporting level, says Mr Fleetwood.Graeme Marshall, commercial manager for the Port of Tauranga, says that it is not just a Port of Tauranga issue and would be applicable to any port through which containers are being imported. In-coming containers are generally not opened at the port and the few that are, are opened by MPI or Customs Service staff. The vast majority are only in transit there and will be opened at their destination.Having said that, it is an important health and safety issue, says Mr Marshall, and those opening the boxes need to be made aware of the potential dangers and appropriate processes put in place. This is the responsibility of the receiver of the cargo.The recent publicity around fumigants has reignited the debate around the safety of methyl bromide, for workers exposed to it and the environment. Methyl bromide is used in New Zealand as a fumigant on logs being exported and some of New Zealands trading partners make its use an export requirement.The Maritime Union has been urging the phase out of methyl bromide for a number of years on a precautionary basis.In our view and the view of reputable scientists in the toxicology field, there is a real possibility that methyl bromide could be linked to motor neurone disease, and research is ongoing to see if there is a link, says Mr Fleetwood.Although not all in the scientific community agree that there is a link, some notable experts do. Professor Ian Shaw, professor of toxicology and director of biochemistry at the University of Canterbury, investigated the use of methyl bromide at Port Nelson and found a strong correlation of motor neurone disease and the toxic gas. Six Port Nelson workers died of motor neurone disease while it was in use.A cluster of deaths such as this is 25 times the international average for the general population, says Professor Shaw.

    More action needed on fumigant risks

  • www.munz.org.nz The Maritimes | Winter 2013 | 11

    Methyl bromide recapture technology is now used at Port Nelson and Greater Wellington Regional Council recently passed a motion to introduce this technology at CentrePort in Wellington. The motion was tabled by Councillor Paul Bruce, who requested more transparency in terms of regular updates on fumigation figures, as well progress towards recapture technology. CentrePort have said they will introduce the technology by the end of the year.Port of Tauranga says they are working with the Stakeholders In Methyl Bromide Reduction group (STIMBR) to look at alternatives to Methyl bromide use. Members of STIMBR include representatives from the ports, fumigant applicators and importers, wood processors, log exporters sawn timber exporters, importers and non-forestry exporters and forest owners.Recapture technology is one of the options being looked at but finding a replacement substance that does the same job and satisfies all biosecurity needs would be preferable, says Mr Marshall.Many other ports around New Zealand use methyl bromide as a fumigant although to a lesser extent than Port Nelson and Port of Tauranga. Green Party customs and biosecurity spokesperson Steffan Browning supports research into an alternative to methyl bromide but believes that until that is found recapture technology should be used at all New Zealand ports.Port workers and communities around the country deserve the same protection from toxic and environmentally damaging gases that Wellington has just received, he says.CentrePort have made this pledge, and Port Nelson has installed the technology, but where is the progress on recapture to protect the rest of New Zealand? The Ministry needs to take real action to show port workers, and their communities, that progress is being made and that they care.

    A serious injury occurred to a Filipino seafarer onboard a logging ship at Port of Tauranga at 5.30am on 16 May 2013. The crew member from the Nordic Visby was treated in intensive care for serious lacerations after a crane-operated winch wire struck him across his chest and neck. The 42-year-old had been operating a winch, when the main crane boom snapped causing a steel rope to strike him in the chest. Maritime New Zealand says investigations are continuing, but the ship was cleared to leave for China.

    REPORT IT If any health and safety incidents occur in your workplace, alert your branch officials and fill in the online form at www.munz.org.nz

  • 12 | The Maritimes | Winter 2013 www.munz.org.nz

    New Zealand workplace health and safety system not fit for purposeNew Zealands workplace health and safety system is not fit for purpose, according to a Government appointed task force.After ten months of work, the Independent Taskforce on Workplace Health and Safety delivered its report on 30 April 2013.The taskforce, chaired by long time Shell New Zealand boss Rob Jager, said there was no single critical factor behind New Zealands poor health and safety record but the system had a number of significant weaknesses.The report said the taskforce was deeply concerned about New Zealands workplace health and safety, with around one in 10 workers harmed annually.While we acknowledge that there are problems with the data, the fact is that a lot of bad things happen to people at work in this country.The inquiry found included that men were more likely than women to be seriously injured, along with youths and older workers, the self-employed and workers with low literacy and numeracy skills.New Zealand has a particular issue in the potential for catastrophic harm as a result of ineffective oversight of major hazard facilities ... The catastrophic consequences of inadequate management of such facilities were brought into stark relief by the 2010 Pike river mine tragedy.The report provides recommendations to the Government that will help reduce the rate of fatalities and serious injuries in workplaces.Recommendations included:A stand-alone health and safety regulator already announced by the Government.Modern legislation as the current legislative environment is complex, confusing and outdated, with significant gaps in coverage.Tripartism operating at all levels. The Government and employer and worker representative bodies (unions) need to provide joint oversight of the system. Leadership and culture change. New Zealanders need to have a much lower tolerance of risky, unsafe and unhealthy work. A major national public awareness campaign is needed to shift attitudes. Increased resourcing for new health and safety agency. The NZ Council of Trade Unions made a substantial submission based on improving workers rights around health and safety http://union.org.nz/health-and-safety-review

    Feed the Kids 70% of New Zealanders heard and voted to support Manas Feed the Kids message said Mana Leader and Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira, following a Government announcement of an expanded breakfast programme for schools. Thats what got the Prime Minister to do something about supporting food-in-schools.And for that, kids can also be thankful to the many organisations who have supported a comprehensive food-in-schools programme and backed Manas Feed the Kids bill over the past 9 months.Mr Harawira says eliminating child poverty in Aotearoa is not about charity and neither should it rely on public-private partnerships. We have already seen breakfast programmes dropped in the past when profits have fallen. Our kids deserve better than that. In 2011, the Red Cross was forced to end its breakfast in schools programme due to the loss of their major sponsor.Eliminating child poverty should be the highest priority of any Government, and feeding the kids should be the first step in achieving that goal. For more information see feedthekids.org.nz

    New Health and Safety agency to be launchedA new workplace Health and Safety Agency was announced by the Government in February 2013.The creation of the new agency follows a recommendation from the Pike River Royal Commission that identified the failings that led to that disaster, and a recommendation from the Health and Safety Taskforce.The agency is planned to be up and running by 1 December 2013 with legislation due in June.In the meantime, labour and health and safety issues are being dealt with by groups within the new super ministry MBIE (Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment) which was established in July 2012 and absorbed the old Department of Labour (DOL).The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions has provisionally backed the concept of the new Health and Safety Crown Agency, but was critical of DOL being folded in MBIE.The new Health and Safety Agency will enforce workplace health and safety regulations, and work collaboratively with employers and employees to embed and promote good workplace health and safety practices.It will be structured as a crown agency that operates at arms length from ministers in the same way as Civil Aviation Authority and Maritime New Zealand.New Zealand has an accident rate at work that is twice that of Australia and seven times worse than the United Kingdom.

    Offshore oil and gas sector health and safety regulations under reviewThe Maritime Union has placed a heavy emphasis on health and safety in the offshore industry, and is closely following recent changes in laws and regulations in the sector.A recent report by European Commission says an event like Deepwater Horizon could happen again.More than 48,200 personnel responded to the Deepwater spill, 127 surveillance aircraft were involved and thousands of ships were used.By comparison New Zealand has just 400 regional responders, 60 to a high level.Maritime New Zealand conducted a review in 2011 and concluded the industry was doing little preparation for this type of disaster. In July 2012, the Maritime Union of New Zealand made submission with EPMU to the Health and Safety Policy Unit in MBIE on the Health and Safety in Employment (Petroleum Exploration and Extraction) Regulations 1999 Review advocating stronger regulations.MBIE claims the review will strengthen the management of hazards that could cause a major accident, reduce the likelihood of a blowout occurring during well operations, and ensure enough data to target new regulation and preventive measures.A High Hazards Unit was established in late 2011 within MBIE to deal with inspection and enforcement work in the mining, petroleum, and geothermal industries (including offshore).The High Hazards Unit works to ensure that operators in the high hazard sector in New Zealand are effectively managing health and safety and the risk of a major incident at their sites.

  • www.munz.org.nz The Maritimes | Winter 2013 | 13

    By Joe Fleetwood, National Secretary

    It is not surprising that a large number of skilled workers are leaving New Zealand to Australia.Apart from the money, there's the question of respect, and safety.In New Zealand today, workers are not respected.In many working class occupations, workers are treated as disposable commodities.In many industries, especially the primary industries we rely on, not only do workers put up with poor pay, casual jobs and sub standard conditions, but their lives are put at risk daily.On 30 April the Health and Safety Taskforce released an extensive report which laid out in a very stark terms the way in which New Zealand workers have been let down.It also provided a substantial package of recommendations to fix the problems.This includes creating a new crown agency dedicated to health and safety, and pulling New Zealands workplace health and safety legislation in line with international best practice.The report also acknowledged the role of workers and unions in creating safe workplaces.This shows a big shift in the official mindset on health and safety and is a promising development. The taskforce should be congratulated for the serious work they have done. Lessons from historyHowever its also worth looking back to see how we got to this point, and learn from history.One of the main causes of the failure to provide safe workplaces is the deregulation ideology that has taken hold in New Zealand over the last twenty to thirty years.The terrible outcome of that failed ideology when applied to industry and safety was the Pike River disaster.Over a considerable period, the Government has abdicated its responsibility to the many in order to benefit the few.The free market was left to its own devices.There is a famous photo from a century ago of a group of New Zealand workers in the 1913 Strike carrying a banner saying "If blood be the price of your accursed wealth, then Good God we have bought it fair."Incredibly it seems that sentiment is still relevant, in 21st century New Zealand.The recent Pike River inquiry and its findings of systemic failure was a reminder of the needless deaths and shattered families and communities.The culture and mentality that led to Pike River is still ingrained elsewhere. The forestry industry is a national disgrace. It seems like every time you open the newspaper, another death on the job. The maritime industry has suffered its share of deaths and injuries on the waterfront and aboard vessels in recent years.New Zealand maritime workers work alongside overseas crews and flag of convenience vessels, so we have a first hand understanding of how bad things can get.Large parts of the fishing industry have been run off the backs of exploited overseas labour aboard foreign charter vessels the ships of shame.

    The litany of deaths, injuries, criminal activity and exploitation brought New Zealand under the international spotlight, which sadly may have been the main motivation for some action.Once again it took a terrible human cost before something was done.Human life is becoming cheap in New Zealand. Or, more specifically, working class human life is becoming cheap.Put together, it's a devastating indictment of where we are headed as a nation. Off the radarIn a similar way, unemployment has gone off the radar.It is now treated as some kind of natural phenomena, like bad weather, as opposed to a human creation.Because unemployment largely hurts the young, the poor and those without a political voice, it has been normalised, and now blamed on the victims.A generation or so ago, even the National Party understood that mass unemployment was a corrosive social cancer that could not be allowed to return.But return it has, and has taken hold, causing immeasurable damage.For New Zealanders in work, many subsist on poor wages, even if they carry out essential work work that is not glamorous, but nonetheless important to keep society ticking along.These jobs have to be done by someone.Surely the least we can do is ensure those who do them are paid a living wage.But even though that many working New Zealanders cannot maintain a decent standard of living for their families, nothing is done.Is it any surprise that this is where we are? Not really.The daily struggles facing working New Zealanders are remote from the political and business establishment.The income and way of life of the upper strata means they have little common ground with their fellow citizens.

    Answer lies with workersSo what's the answer?Relying on the goodwill of employers or the initiative of politicians is not going to do the trick.For every business prepared to make an effort, there will be others who take advantage at every opportunity.If you make more money out of cutting corners, then corners will be cut, in a system that puts the mighty dollar first.The lowest common denominator is rewarded in this race to the bottom.So we need much stronger laws to protect workers health and safety, and their conditions of work, at the very least, and rigorous and effective enforcement.We need to stop treating workers as a cost to be minimized, and treat them as the foundation of our common wealth and success of our society.But workers are going to have to do it for themselves.In the end, our best chance is to unionize and fight for our rights on the job. A confident and organised working class would transform New Zealand for the better by advocating for ongoing improvements in our way of living and working.Only then we will make progress and reverse the shameful record of a generation of policies which have put the welfare and wellbeing of the worker last.

    Health and safety failures show a lack of respect for workers

  • 14 | The Maritimes | Winter 2013 www.munz.org.nz

    LytteltonBy Les WellsWell, what can I say about Lyttelton half of the port buildings and local establishments have now been demolished in the business area. Our office used to be surrounded by buildings but now it stands alone surrounded by demolition fences.

    C3 The port is going ahead in leaps and bounds with C3 being very busy with logs and bulkies and continuing to hire more staff. The C3 members are continuing to transfer to Timaru, so a very busy area down at the western end of the inner harbour.

    LSS LSS is still very consistent with their core business. There is always plenty going on down at No. 2 wharf. Two new members have been made up to permanent and everybody has their heads down working hard. Tunnel Control It is with great pleasure that I announce the joining up of new members from the tunnel between Christchurch and Lyttelton. They are a well-organised group and I look forward to representing them in their upcoming collective employment negotiations.

    Lyttelton Port of Christchurch - Vehicle and Straddle Workshop Although we only have one member in this group, they are very busy and constantly turning around straddle carriers with maintenance and breakdowns. Hopefully, with new apprentices and tradesmen being employed Brad Fletcher can recruit more members.

    Lyttelton Port of Christchurch - Container Terminal The container terminal is in a positive mood with 40 PRPs being employed in the last two to three months. This has triggered an increase in the permanent 40 numbers with 16 being promoted to 40 hours weekly. The terminal is still functioning at capacity with only one and a half berths, so hopefully CQ 2 can be repaired to the same level as CQ 3 and 4. This will enable the company to work two big ships at the same time. As I write this report, four new straddle carriers have been built and are on their way from Europe. Hopefully these will arrive in the next few weeks. We have also heard whispers of a possible fourth portainer crane but this will probably be introduced when CQ 2 is repaired. We are also seeing an increase in the size of the port, with the reclamation of about 10 hectares around by the coal bulk load-out stockpile.

    Lyttelton Port of Christchurch CFS These men have settled into their new roles, handling all empty containers through the port. It is always very busy and they will soon need extra plant to handle the volumes. It was good to see all the team wearing their new LPC shirts and setting a standard for the rest of the company.

    New national youth representative Byron Cummings (Auckland), national womens representative Marian Lesslie (Wellington) and Lyttelton Branch President Brad Fletcher at the May 2013 MUNZ National Council

    The Skandi Singapore encounters some heavy weather in the Tasman Sea (photo by Alf Boyle)

    We welcome your contributions to the Maritimes magazine. Words, photos and ideas are wanted. Contact the Editor on 021482219 or email [email protected]

  • www.munz.org.nz The Maritimes | Winter 2013 | 15

    Wellington By Mike Clark Parekura Horomia and IkaroaRawhitiIt was sad news earlier this month when we heard of the passing of long serving Labour MP Parekura Horomia, member for Ikaroa-Rawhiti. A By-Election will be held on June 29. Labour will be expected to retain the seat but there will be opposition from the Maori Party, Mana and the Greens, and it is unlikely the seat will be contested by National. Parekura served as the Minister of Maori Affairs between 2000 and 2008 and also played a major role in the setting up of Maori Television and expanding iwi radio. Tributes after his death flowed in and Labour Leader David Shearer cut short an overseas visit to attend his Tangi.

    Foreign Charter VesselsA long running campaign run on behalf of MUNZ by National Secretary Joe Fleetwood against the use of (FCV) of Foreign Charter Fishing vessels has included numerous meetings with Maritime New Zealand and submissions to Parliamentary Select Committee hearings.It was pleasing to see that Independent Fisheries reflagged one of their FCFVs from the Dominican Flag to the New Zealand flag after satisfying the requirements of the Ship Registration Act 1992. Legislation is before Parliament to make it compulsory for all FCVs to be reflagged by 2016 but in the latest submissions to the Select Committee MUNZ stated that a 2014 target could and should be implemented. The reflagging process ensures the vessel and its systems are fully compliant with New Zealand Maritime Rules and meet the requirements of the New Zealand Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992.This and the requirement that Foreign crew qualifications meet the relevant New Zealand certificates will go a long way towards stopping any repeats of the tragedies that have occurred in the past.

    CentreportAfter long protracted talks with Centreport (Port of Wellington) over our Collective Employment Agreement, jointly negotiated with the EPMU, RMTU and ourselves, settlement was finally reached on Monday 20 May, with the Terms of Settlement yet to be received. This will then be put to the members for ratification where we hope to achieve a positive outcome.

    SGSAn agreement was signed with SGS for a two year deal from 1 November 2012 to 31 October 2014. SGS, which means Societe Generale de Surveillance, is a global company involved in the oil and gas, agriculture food and automotive industries but our members here in Wellington are primarily involved in tanker loading and discharges, bunkering and terminal maintenance and sample testing. Thanks to our Assistant Wellington Secretary John Whiting and to delegate Vince Wall for their hard work in reaching a satisfactory outcome over a long period of time.

    KiwiRailWe are currently in talks with KiwiRail Interisland Line on the renewal of the MUNZ Collective Agreement which expired on 31 January this year. The talks haven't been helped by media statements from senior executives of the company in regards to the wages and also on their competitor on the Cook Strait who have now become a major player for cargo and passengers on the Cook Strait service. In line with the turnaround plan of the company they say the agreement will have to fit within their budget restraints, strange to me it seems with the blow out on the Aratere project and the upcoming Kaitaki refurbishment, coupled with the exorbitant salaries of senior management.Delegates for the three vessels will keep members up to date on proceedings but it is important for members to attend Stop Work Meetings and also shipboard meetings to give you an understanding, not only of the process of bargaining, but also the history behind our current document. The Union has also initiated bargaining with the "competitor" for the renewing of the CEA for the Picton Terminal staff and also the for the sea-going staff with meeting dates yet to be confirmed.

    Offshore Currently following a number of vessels finishing their projects the database is once again starting to build up as members complete their leave. There have been a number of rumours floating around about upcoming work but nothing confirmed apart from the semi-sub Kan Tan IV which is due mid-September to drill in the Matuku-1 well which is west of the Maui field in Taranaki. As this is a non-propelled rig we will not be engaged on it but the supply vessels will be covered by us with whoever will be the charterer.The Multi Party Collective Agreement expires later on this year and there are a number of clauses that need to be tidied up so as to make it clearer for the members and the companies to understand. Remits will be called for once we initiate bargaining. To all MUNZ seafarers working n the offshore oil and gas industry, if you have not already done so, please update your CV and certificates and forward to the Wellington Secretary.

    Focsle crew ready to moor the Arahura in Picton, from left Andy Wood, Dean Smith and Doug Makinson (photo by Alan Windsor)

  • 16 | The Maritimes | Winter 2013 www.munz.org.nz

    Nelson By Bill Lewis 922

    Central FundingAt the April 2013 Stopwork meeting it was unanimously accepted that the branch move to central funding as per the recommendation from the National Council meeting in Wellington.

    StevedoresNelson Stevedoring Services have won a contract to work all kiwifruit vessels in this port.Steady work has occurred throughout the year with breakbulk, MDF board, used cars and a busy fishing section.A 4% wage increase was negotiated in the renewal of collective contract. Thanks to Joe and John from national office.

    Methyl BromideAn approach was made to gather information on methyl bromide recapture at Port Nelson and the info was sent to national office.

    Asset SalesMUNZ members carried our banner at the Asset Sales protest in April on the march up Trafalgar Street on a Saturday morning.Speakers from various political parties addressed the 200 marchers at the church steps.

    Stopwork MeetingsA good attendance has been recorded at various meetings during the year and we appreciate the availability of officials to attend.

    EmploymentAfter full employment from December the offshore vessels have now departed and members are facing a hard winter until the next campaign starts up again in Spring maybe.

    Health and SafetyAll members have been reminded to report any injuries, gear failures, or any unsafe equipment on vessels or ashore so that they can be recorded on to the unions national data base.

    Christmas PartyA great Christmas party was held at the Turf Hotel attended by old timers from both stevedores and seafarers. Ric Tidmarsh in the ukelele band provided the music and Ken Knox organised the do.

    Tauranga Mount MaunganuiBy Selwyn RussellWell its been quite busy this past 6 months, and Branch President Peter Harvey and I have noticed that the complaints against our members are becoming increasingly more frequent and petty. We have had in this term many cases, but one case where a member was given their marching orders for daring to ask for an opportunity to do overtime alongside some non-union who were getting the lot was extremely unfair.A meeting was set up with all staff and the only one who was not given the same choice before hand of speaking to management individually was our member.So as you can gather when the all-up meeting happened the atmosphere could only be described as toxic, and our member felt she was not given the same chance to voice her opinion and felt she was being attacked personally. The company believed that the relationship was untenable and looked to dismissal as the primary remedy for her. This is what happens when we get unfairness in the workplace as it festers away with ill feeling causing resentment. We were pleased and are thankful that Garry Parsloe and Russell Mayn came down to assist in resolving the issue to our members satisfaction.We also had our second ACC review after one of our members was told that his ACC was not granted from last year.It is with great satisfaction that we can disclose we won the review (that makes 2 from 2) and he has finally been granted ACC and hopefully will not have to refinance his home. This case took many hours and follow ups, and now he cannot be denied his return to work programme, which was the catalyst for him to retain his job. So again well done Peter Harvey, we make a good team.We also have often been assisting ITF co-ordinator Grahame MacLaren when requested and the ITF with their inspections. To Richard Rankin and Peter Harvey, many thanks for your assistance while I was away on all matters. Around the port

    Wilsons ParkingWe have just and ratified the document and are awaiting signing.

    ComvitaWe have just ratified the document last week and are awaiting signing.

    BallanceWe are about to initiate bargaining. Remits/claims in.

    Te Manu ToroaWe are awaiting the report back from the board to go into bargaining claims/remits in.

    C3Guys getting plenty of work here, finally sorted the 1% backpay.

    NZLWe have ratified the deal and are awaiting sign off.

    NZMPicking up plenty of work at C3.

    UCL Signed off.

  • www.munz.org.nz The Maritimes | Winter 2013 | 17

    Gisborne By Dein Ferris

    The branch workload over the past few months has been reasonably steady, having had quite a successful squash season despite the drought conditions experienced here.We have continued on from this to kiwifruit and have done three or four shipments so far.The JNL ships are running about one a month, with the volume of cargo increasing a little.NYK have just taken over the shipping of this cargo and we completed our part of the loading in Wellington and Gisborne this week May 17. We have also had outport transfers to other Ports. National Secretary Joe Fleetwood attended a stop work meeting at the Port in April at which the new rules were discussed and passed, along with other general matters. It was pleasing to note that 99 percent of both permanent and casual members attended.As usual, the weather was stunning. The weather more recently has been disruptive with large swells forcing ships to be put to sea until the surge in the harbour settles.An ISO worker lost his finger while loading logs recently.We do not know all the details but having worked in the Port for some forty odd years, conditions would have to be a contributing factor.

    Port Chalmers DunedinBy Ben George

    Container Terminal The container terminal has been very busy with members working extended hours, six sometimes seven days and a lot of third shifts and members are showing signs of tiring. With the quiet season just around the corner, all the effort, hard work and good will from Cargo Handlers will no doubt be forgotten and the focus from management will be placed on down time.For us working alongside these managers trying to come up with creative ways in which to keep such down time to a minimum will be the challenge. Credit must be given to all staff for once again proving the value of permanent workforce with good conditions committed to working toward the success of the business.

    Warehousing As with the Terminal team, Warehousing has been busy also often working extended hours just to meet the daily packing orders. The dairy season too is drawing to a close and in the last week the requirement to have a second shift labour has ended. One of the resulting issues is that of outstanding hours for members who are on annualized Hours and requests from the Employer to reduce these hours is something we need to keep a watchful eye on.It is not unreasonable for the Employer to want to reduce any hours that are outstanding. However it is the nature of some of the requests which in the past have been unreasonable, and we are lucky to have an active and motivated delegate within Warehousing who aids us to in Warehousing matters. Not much gets past the delegate.

    PCCSPort Chalmers Cargo Services members have been working under a newly signed ,collective agreement now since before Christmas and all seems to-be going well. It is very pleasing that during the last round of negotiations, we were able to secure for five of the Permanent part time workers a guaranteed full time 40 hour a week position.

    Congratulations to the new appointees, as we know how important it is to secure full time jobs in the current climate. As with the other areas we represent, workloads have been high and resources stretched. This can lead to corners being cut, risks being taken and even unsatisfactory practices overlooked. More attention to Stevedoring in Port Chalmers and Dunedin is an area of improving focus for the Officials and Executives within our branch and we will be looking more closely at how we communicate with our members here.

    Local Elections The branch has recently voted on a two year term for elected positions, this will see the term for elected positions within our branch brought into line with many of the other branches around the country. Election results:President: Ben George: Vice President: Stuart Crawford Secretary/Treasurer: Phil Adams: Executive: Tim Camp, Mark Middleditch, Stephen Smith, Paul Napier, G WrightTrustees: Graham Hutton, Rodger Crawford Womens Rep: Lynne Barclay Youth Rep: Tim Stuart

    MUNZ Port Chalmers Dunedin Branch President Ben George (left) and member Troy Simonsen at the rally against asset sales in Dunedins Octagon as part of the 27 April national day of action

  • 18 | The Maritimes | Winter 2013 www.munz.org.nz

    Bluff By Harry HollandBluff has been ticking along with logs, containers, Tiwai and Fertilizer, and a little fish, but all in all, were going along OK.South Port, our port company, has been going through some restructuring on the terminal side of their operation and it looks like two may go. They are not letting much out. However all the interviews have been done, which Raymond and I attend with the men. Now its wait and see.

    NapierBy Bill Connelly

    Around and aboutThe Port of Napier Limited has just had a change of name, or a re-branding to Napier Port Limited. The CEO of Napier Port, Garth Cowie, has appeared in several publications of late and stated that Napier Port is now the North Islands second largest export port by volume (tonnage) and is also New Zealands fourth largest container terminal. Container handling at the port has increased by 8.5%, with 204,055 TEU containers handled in the past year. Add to that another record revenue year with an increase of 11% and a net profit after tax of $11,080 million, a decrease in debt of 7.6% and dividends paid of $5,854 Million. In a local business magazine Mr Cowie stated That will come as a surprise to many people, including locals. Were probably an unrecognised jewel. Our growth has been based on a superior service model provided by all port staff, not only the Port Company but also stevedores, marshalling companies, MPI and Customs all working together, and we intend to become even stronger and more widely recognised. An interesting article also appeared in the same magazine by the Napier pilots who noted as ship size continues to grow, there is the potential for some very large ships to be constrained by the Napier ports inner harbour turning circle. The question was asked why not turn ships around and back them in? The answer was SmartShip Australia, a full scale marine simulator in Brisbane, much like the flight simulators used in the aviation industry. Once ships start approaching 300m in length, turning in Napier Ports basin becomes problematic. The conundrum sparked the idea to turn the vessel in the channel outside the harbour and bring them in stern first. It also provides a Le Mans start for departure said Captain Jeremy Brew, a former pilot with the Hawkes Bay port and now in the employ of SmartShip Australia. One such cruise ship that recently visited and came alongside in reverse was the Queen Elizabeth.

    Hawkes Bay Stevedoring Services Limited Their Local Port Schedule (Schedule F), which is attached to the Multi Employer Collective Agreement (MECA) expired on the 30th April 2013 and we are currently in negotiations.

    The Company has recognised that its workforce is getting older and taken on three new Trainee Waterside Workers on a guaranteed 24 hours per week. It is envisaged that when these trainees are fully conversant with all aspects of waterfront work that they will be employed in skilled positions. We also have a number of permanent members who are nearing retirement age and when they retire they will be replaced by a fully trained trainee. The three trainees were chosen from the existing casual workforce and they are Darryn Draper, Albert Rewi and Harley Smith.

    C3: Formerly Toll Logistics New Zealand Ltd Their Collective Agreement expires on the 30 June 2013.

    Kelcold LimitedTheir Collective Agreement expires on the 1 August 2013. We also welcome two new members of Kelcold to the MUNZ ranks and they are Peter Moere and Henry Norman.

    Branch ElectionsThe new President of the Napier Branch is Bruce Winkley and the Vice-President is Greg Keen. The Executive members are being sorted at the moment.

    Employment Relations Act Amendment Bill What does this mean for workers? These are tough times and yet the government wants to make them even tougher. This Bill aims to drive down wages and conditions for New Zealand workers. This cheap labour option is the wrong way to go. Wages are already too low. Many people are already heading overseas. We need a law that will lift wages, not reduce them. How can you help? Join the CTU on Facebook Fairness at work and talk to you workmates about these changes. Check out the CTU website: www. union.org. nz/whycutourpay

    Whangarei By Ben HathawayMarsden Point Wharf is expanding quite rapidly with a total of 48 hectares in use.37 hectares have been paved and the rest being made ready for paving. There are also plans to reclaim more land and extend further into the harbour.The port is very busy with the occupancy rate being 55% 24/7 over four berths. The main stevedoring companies are subsidiaries of Tauranga owned ones with only one unionised local company, Northland Stevedoring Services. The highlight of the past six months is the signing of the drug and alcohol document. It has been a big struggle but we now have saliva testing at Marsden. I believe it is a New Zealand first and I would like to thank Russell Mayn and Garry Parsloe for their help in implementing this document.

    Stopwork meetingWe had National Secretary Joe Fleetwood attend our last stopwork meeting, which went well. It was good to have him in the port again as it was a chance for our new members to meet him.

    ITFThank you to Grahame MacLaren for help with the 3rd mate on the Coos Bay who had been on the ship for 13 months and wanted off after a nine month contract.A simple phone call to Grahame and it was fixed.

    Tiwai SmelterWho knows where theyre going there at the moment with the power, but they have just lost a big court case with the EPMU over holiday pay and lieu days.They were paying on an eight hour day and the smelter was on a twelve hour day contract. The company lost the case and has to pay out over seven million dollars to the 60 men concerned watch this space.

    Timaru By Tony TownshendTimaru recently noted it now has three members with over 50 years service each Kevin Forde, Barry Bennet and Bill Ryan.

  • www.munz.org.nz The Maritimes | Winter 2013 | 19

    New PlymouthBy Terry Whitehead Hi and greetings from the Naki! First, a late bereavement notice for Gary Castro Calder who passed away late last year. He was a true inspiration and it was an honour and a privilege to have worked with someone who knew the secret to long term survival as a wharfie, humour! Also, another local legend Bob Surrey retired at the end of March (old wharfies never really retire, they just become casuals!) Luckily for us, Bob has offered to be available when needed and continues to train, teach and share his knowledge.Workloads have been steady with bulk cargo (PKE) and fertilizer boats up due to drought conditions this past summer. Container numbers continue to decline with only MSC (once monthly) the one weekly Pacifica call for cargo. We recently had the biggest container boat to have ever called at our port, the MSC chartered Messologi. At nearly 295 metres and 52000 gt it was an impressive sight berthed at our container terminal. Unfortunately, it was a one off call and not a sign of things to come, rather a last hurrah for our declining service.Logs seem to be the biggest growth area we have experienced in the last few years, as Im sure all ports know. We also recently started doing deck cargo for Korea which has been very challenging especially for some of our crane drivers and digger operators with the amount of movement we experience in our open port. The number of logs going in the tide has risen dramatically but our skills at retrieving them has also improved.TenderOil industry boats have been getting serviced by union members and we even managed to secure some work with the Pacific Parrot, and with six new tender vessels and three Oil rigs on the way, the oil and gas industry work loads are on the increase. Hopefully we can secure more work for our branch members.Branch wise, we have had two new men join, Simon Knowles and Nigel Haliday. Simon has come on in a foreman role but also as a cargo (logs) planner which has helped our manager cope with increasing log, especially deck cargo, volumes. Nigel has been invaluable as our log mark-off, tool shed, and maintenance man. A position that needed creating and filling with our work loads increasing as they are. We are also looking at hiring/training another member but have yet to find a suitable candidate. We are very fortunate to have a great pool of casuals who we try to look after as best we can and we hope to source new members from there also.Our collective agreement has now rolled over till March 2014 as we set a two year deal up in 2012.

    Port Taranakis new hoppers being unloaded from the Tasman Bay 13 May 2013 (photo by Terry Whitehead)

    ITF Inspectorate Report By Grahame MacLaren New Zealand ITF Inspector AstridThe Captain was ashore but returned for the inspection when called by the Chief Officer. Once the Captain arrived he was very cooperative and provided all documentation requested. On inspecting the contracts, it was noted that the Ordinary Seamans contract stated that he was a trainee Seaman and as such was being paid a total of USD350 per month. A backpay claim was prepared and sent to the company, they were also informed that they must ensure his future wages were amended to reflect the agreement. The claim was rejected by the company who said that he was on board as a trainee and not as an OS. A reply was sent informing them that the claim still stood as he was listed on the crew list as the OS, and it was also pointed out that the vessels Minimum Safe Manning certificate called for a minimum of one OS on board, so if he was not the OS then the vessel was in breach of this official document. They then replied saying they would pay the claim and amend his future wages after all.

    They were informed that the payment would need to be witnessed by the ITF. After pressing them for a few days for a date and time, an email was eventually received stating that he had already been paid and had a new contract reflecting the proper wages. Signed copies of the claim form and a copy of the new contract were attached.Not willing to take their word for it, I contacted NZ ITF Convenor Garry Parsloe who kindly arranged for ITF Contact Dave Phillips to visit the vessel on its arrival in Auckland. Dave reported that all was well and that the OS was very happy with his backpay and new wages.

    AAL BrisbaneThis case was passed on by the Australian ITF Inspectorate, as the crews wages were being withheld and a backpay claim had been lodged. The company was contacted several times by email asking that they give a port, date and time for the backpay but no response was received, that is until it was mentioned that their cooperation would prevent any possible delays to their