The Ports of Auckland has decided to contract out its stevedoring jobs on the Container Wharf by firing its existing staff and hocking off the work to three competing contracting firms.
The decision is devastating for the wharfies and their families, but you could see it coming.
Firstly, there was the charade from PoAL that they were bargaining in good faith for a collective agreement, while at the same time they were seeking tenders from contractors to take over the work.
The second charade was that they were going through a “consultation” process, when in reality, the decision was already made.
The third and latest charade is that the workers can apply for jobs with the contractors. That’s nice of them.
But of course the contractors have no obligation to employ any of the existing workers and any who do get jobs will be required to accept pay and conditions decided by the contractors. Previous pay and conditions fought for over years will disappear. The only guarantees are minimum wage, annual leave and statutory holidays.
Contracting out is an effective way to casualise a workforce and drive down their wages and conditions.
Yes, you could see it coming.
We’re seeing unprecedented industrial disharmony in New Zealand and you could see that coming too when National was reelected.
The Ports dispute isn’t over. I will be at the rally in Saturday. I hope you come too.