Poor striking stevedores

December 2nd, 2011 at 1:38 pm by David Farrar

Cactus Kate has details of the impoverished wages that the are striking over at the .

Their oppressive employer is only paying them:

  • An average full-time wage of $91,480
  • Free medical insurance for not just the stevedore, but their entire family
  • Three times the statutory sick leave entitlement, being three weeks a year accumulating up until nine weeks.
  • Fully paid in-house training (no qualifications needed)
  • Five weeks annual leave

The wharfies will be disappointed Labour did not win the election, because Labour’s proposed Workplace Commission could have ordered Ports of Auckland to pay them more money, in line with a industry standard they set.

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54 Responses to “Poor striking stevedores”

  1. Ross Nixon (559 comments) says:

    Wow! Anyone got a link to their Human Resources department? Any vacancies?

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  2. JamesS (352 comments) says:

    I have enormous sympathy for the Wharfies – as I do for everybody living in abject poverty on $91,000 per year!

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  3. Cunningham (845 comments) says:

    They represent everything that is wrong with unions and the country ultimately has to pay for their selfish behaviour through lost export revenue during a massive recession. Fuckwits!

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  4. Andrei (2,668 comments) says:

    Wharfies are probably more valuable to the country than tax lawyers when it comes down to it

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  5. dog_eat_dog (789 comments) says:

    Well that has fuck all to do with anything, Andrei.

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  6. Cunningham (845 comments) says:

    Andrei, if they are so fucking unhappy then they should move on and let someone else who will appreciate being on $91,000 have a go. They should be grateful to have a job let alone one paying so well. Hell with that salary I am sure there would be no shortage of people wanting to take their place.

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  7. Dave A (61 comments) says:

    What is Cactus drinking? She was posting some bizarre stuff before the election, then she disappeared, and now she’s back making post after weird post not connected to anything in particular.

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  8. RRM (10,001 comments) says:

    Jeeeesus.
    DPF, please take the following to your National Party masters:

    (1) This leftie does not like militant unionism very much;

    therefore:

    (2) This leftie would have no real issue with it, if the Key govt took some strong anti-unionism measures to kick these goons to the kerb. In fact this leftie would be in favour of such a move…

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  9. hmmokrightitis (1,595 comments) says:

    One of my uncles was a wharfie back in the 70’s and 80’s. Miserable thieving tossers the lot of them – back then that is, Im sure its changed :)

    Earned as much as my old man who was the CEO of a medium sized company, and rarely a week went by that cases of scotch and the like didn’t accidentally fall into the back of his car. But again, Im sure its changed. They have security cameras now :)

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  10. RRM (10,001 comments) says:

    Andrei;

    I wonder how much tax law a wharfie could learn, in the time it takes to teach a lawyer how to drive a forklift?

    These goons don’t “earn” a living, their gang arranges it for them.

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  11. Manolo (14,030 comments) says:

    Sack these overpaid unionists!

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  12. Wade G (7 comments) says:

    @Cunningham

    “if they are so fucking unhappy then they should move on”. While I realise in this case alot of the outrage is because of the high salaries, I hope you are not taking this line with all union action. If you have been working as something for the past 20 years, dedicated it to your life to it, and then get shafted in one way or another. You do not have a chance to switch careers so late, or just “go get another job”. Least of all minimum wage employees.

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  13. Kimble (4,443 comments) says:

    Wharfies are probably more valuable to the country than tax lawyers when it comes down to it

    Not at all. If the goods just sit on the docks then they arent any use to anyone. So the truck and train drivers who bring the goods to the dock are more valuable. It would make sense that the sailors manning the ships would be even more valuable. Then of course there are the ship builders, they would have to be the most valuable. Other than those who make the fuel for the ship. Or the people who make the ships to haul the fuel for the ships.

    All those guys have to pay tax. How much less would they do if they had to all become experts in tax law? Of course, they cant do their jobs if they are in jail for tax infringements.

    Do you see how retarded your statement is now?

    They represent everything that is wrong with unions and the country ultimately has to pay for their selfish behaviour…

    I have heard of Australian dock workers who start on about $150k after 3 days training. 3 weeks on, 3 weeks off.

    You have to know someone in the Union of course. Those jobs cant go to just anyone.

    I would be surprised if these guys arent currently threatening to strike as well. Its called Extortion.

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  14. Mark (1,489 comments) says:

    RRM (3,952) Says:
    December 2nd, 2011 at 2:35 pm
    Andrei;

    I wonder how much tax law a wharfie could learn, in the time it takes to teach a lawyer how to drive a forklift?

    RRM that is a patently unfair question. The reality is even the slowest of wharfies would have a PhD in the time you could teach a tax lawyer to lace up his shoes.

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  15. Murray (8,847 comments) says:

    I’ve got a fork lift licence…. I am so out of here!

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  16. Don the Kiwi (1,794 comments) says:

    Ports of Tauranga will probably pick up more contracts with disgruntled shipping lines who are getting increasingly pissed off with Auckland. Keep it up Auckland – fools.
    So these wharfies should start negotiating a good redundancy package – less the cost of their strike action, of course, cos they look like they’re going to need one – provided the Port of Auckland doesn’t go bust first.

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  17. Murray (8,847 comments) says:

    I am reminded of the BNZ centre and the bolier makers union… who used to be a power in New Zealand.

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  18. dime (10,095 comments) says:

    lets hope these selfish bastards dont have too much of an impact on businesses who have been struggling for a long time.

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  19. slightlyrighty (2,475 comments) says:

    and of course it is timed for when the bulk of retailers are getting in their stock for christmas, so as to create the maximum possible disruption.

    And just to add salt into the wound, someone on that income, with 3 kids, gets an extra $66 a week from WFF. FFS!

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  20. tom hunter (5,078 comments) says:

    I don’t know about all of you but I am sick to death of seeing Rich Pricks going Galt.

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  21. Chuck Bird (4,923 comments) says:

    How long would it take to teach someone it the army to drive a forklift?

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  22. Murray (8,847 comments) says:

    A day.

    Last time they had sailors doing it by hand and collecting three times their usual pay because they got their own and the water front workers pay.

    My father was most pleased about that deal too.

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  23. lastmanstanding (1,300 comments) says:

    Chuck Birds on to it.

    IF we had real leadership in this country then POAL would go to the Gumint with a plan as follows.

    1. Reduce pay plus all other conditions by 25% for 2012.

    2. Reduce 2012 pay plus conditions by 25% for 2013.

    At that point their pay and conditions would be par for the work they do.

    It would allow them time to adjust or find other work.

    The Gumint would support POAL to the extent of bringing in the Army to ensure goods continued to move.

    And you know what.

    IMHO the vast majority of citizens would not only support POAL and the Gumint but we might even see some picket action and other usual Union action taken against the workers.

    Time to toughen up JK grow some balls man!!!!!

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  24. trout (944 comments) says:

    POA is owned by the Council. Perhaps the wharfees are expecting the same generous response from Len that the Lyttleton workers screwed out of the politburo in Christchurch (pre e/q).

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  25. simonway (387 comments) says:

    So how much money does someone have to make before you think it’s unreasonable to try and negotiate for more? Is $91,480 automatically sufficient compensation for everyone?

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  26. oldpark () says:

    Well best analogy.A list MP starts on $141K.All you have to do is know the boss.Beats working on wharf,or looking after aged.Seems wharfies or list MPS have all easy peasy jobs covered.A watersider gets billions of dollars over the wharves imports or exports.A List MP, under some pretenders who will take up their seat in the next parliament,especially in opposition can anyone please explain who will be the most gainfully employed Watersiders or List MPS.RIGHT ON, TO THINK THEY WILL EARN AT LEAST 60%MORE THAN A WATERSIDER BEGGARS BELIEF.

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  27. side show bob (3,660 comments) says:

    I guess Greece has wharfies I wonder it they would be interested in work in NZ. These smart arses will eventually hang themselves with their own greed it’s only a matter of time.. I know Fonterra isn’t impressed and there are plenty of other ports that would gladly accommodate new business.

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  28. ross (1,437 comments) says:

    Cactus Kate, that well known supporter of wharfies. LMAO

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  29. ross (1,437 comments) says:

    I didn’t see anything in Cactus’ rant about what the ERA recommended to resolve the disupte. Oh well. What I do know, because John Key has told us, is that wages will increase by 4% in each of the next few years. At least workers have something to look forward to.

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  30. Inky_the_Red (761 comments) says:

    The clear message is if you want more pay join a union and get your workmates to do the same

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  31. labours a joke (442 comments) says:

    yep have to agree with Inky. Pre union days all we got was 2% ..everyone joined the EPMU and this year we got 11% and next year they jacked up another 4% for us.Thanks EPMU.

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  32. JamesS (352 comments) says:

    The obvious way to solve the dispute is for the Ports of Auckland to say “go f**k yourself” to the gangster trade union.

    When that fails they need to start a media campaign highlighting the $91,000 per year (which I suspect virtually no one knew prior to Cactus pointing it out) and see the 0% sympathy the gangster trade union gets.

    I am sure a newly re-elected government will come to the party with troops to man the wharves (like 1951) and eventually the gangsters will cave in. Like 1951.

    The Wharfies are not the only people who need to learn a very important lesson of “who is Boss?”; there are too many working men around NZ who have a sense of entitlement and been allowed to grow fat and sassy due to weak willed employers.

    In short – it is time to starve these buggers back to work! (like in the good old days)

    Good old Sid Holland did not stand for any of this shit and neither should John Key.

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  33. Viking2 (11,553 comments) says:

    The details are also published here.
    http://www.sunlive.co.nz/news/19322-strike-steers-ships-to-tauranga.html

    The Bledisloe and Fergusson terminals are closed from 10.30pm on Thursday, December 1 through to 10.30pm on Monday, December 5.
    In a two page notice published in the Shipping Gazette, Ports of Auckland says its offer to the 300 union staff, includes rolling over the existing contract with no changes to terms or conditions, a 2.5 per cent pay increase and a $200 signing bonus in lieu of back pay.

    The average wage for a full time POAL stevedore for the year ended June 30 2011, was $91,480. The average part timer’s wage was $65,518.

    More than half the stevedores, 53 percent, earned more than $80,000. Forty three of them, 28 percent, earned more than $100,000, with the highest paid stevedore earning $122,000.

    The employees and their families are provided Southern Cross medical insurance, up to 15 days sick leave each year accruing to 45 days over three years, and two months fully paid in-house training to become a lasher and straddle driver, and further paid training to become a crane driver. They can qualify without the requirement for a student loan.

    The union objects to Ports of Auckland negotiating flexible pay packages for seven non-union stevedores, saying hourly rates are higher than on the collective.

    I can remember when the Tauranga wharfies earned that sort of dosh way back in the 70’s. and ran 2 down 2 up shifts where they sunned them selves on the up shifts. Don’t do that now . Private workforce’s load the ships here.

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  34. plebe (271 comments) says:

    They should be dragged out and shot in front of their families and possibly catus kate.

    opps some stupid fat dickhead pommy prick beat me to that statement ,sorry folks

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  35. plebe (271 comments) says:

    Wow the POA human resources dept has posted, going into mediation
    You go Jame
    JamesS (136) Says:

    December 2nd, 2011 at 6:57 pm
    The obvious way to solve the dispute is for the Ports of Auckland to say “go f**k yourself” to the gangster trade union.

    When that fails they need to start a media campaign highlighting the $91,000 per year (which I suspect virtually no one knew prior to Cactus pointing it out) and see the 0% sympathy the gangster trade union gets.

    I am sure a newly re-elected government will come to the party with troops to man the wharves (like 1951) and eventually the gangsters will cave in. Like 1951.

    The Wharfies are not the only people who need to learn a very important lesson of “who is Boss?”; there are too many working men around NZ who have a sense of entitlement and been allowed to grow fat and sassy due to weak willed employers.

    In short – it is time to starve these buggers back to work! (like in the good old da

    Good old Sid Holland did not stand for any of this shit and neither should John Key.
    You go James the POA and the corpse of old Sid is proud of you posting effort

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  36. Cactus Kate (551 comments) says:

    What a fucking dumb comment Andrei.
    I would be delighted if all tax lawyers were sacked. a) I am not one and b) it would mean there was no tax.
    Lawyers can’t strike.
    Well paid wharfs can.

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  37. plebe (271 comments) says:

    Strike steers ships to Tauranga
    only if you like oil on beaches and ships on reefs , Tauranga ports seems micky mouse to me(corners cut)

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  38. Yvette (2,845 comments) says:

    The union says it will not back down, unless Ports of Auckland re-establishes the contracts of four union members who lost them last year, and agrees not to offer union type benefits to staff on individual contracts.

    Interesting philosophy, the second part there, that no one shalt have the the conditions we have fought for.
    Matthew 20:1-16
    Bloody little has changed in nearly two thousand years

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  39. grumpyoldhori (2,362 comments) says:

    A lot of us lefties would be happy to see those scum known as wharfies drowned along with fucking mouth pieces.
    Those cnuts ave never done a fucking thing to help the poorly paid yet they are the first ones to scream for fucking help.
    My dream is wharfies along with finance types leaping from buildings, shoot them, fuck that I want them to suffer.

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  40. labours a joke (442 comments) says:

    “Those cnuts ave never done a fucking thing to help the poorly paid ”

    WTF? Why should they ? Why dont the ” poorly paid ” upskill themselves? Get a better job.

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  41. wreck1080 (3,956 comments) says:

    greedy rich pricks, cullen would say.

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  42. Right of way is Way of Right (1,122 comments) says:

    It would be very interesting to have a comparison between the pay that these people receive, and the pay that our servicemen receive, especially Naval Personnel.

    I do know how much pay naval personnel receive, and it’s a damn sight less than these bastards. And they get to go home to their families each night. I’ve not seen mine for three months!

    What a bunch of pricks!

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  43. hj (7,062 comments) says:

    Qtown money is mine: TV star

    A top New Zealand real estate agent and former TV star will fight an Employment Relations Authority ruling that he has to pay back $163,635 in unearned commission.

    A January 20 ruling by the authority determined that Michael Boulgaris, the former star of TV shows Location Location Location and Real Escapes, had to pay the sum to Wensley Developments.

    The dispute related to a Wensley Developments company in Queenstown. Boulgaris was employed as a salesman by the company before he resigned in March 2005.

    Boulgaris said he was talking with his solicitor about the ruling. He also vowed never to return to Queenstown.

    “The ruling makes me never want to go back to Queenstown. Why would I? I’m a very honest and open person and I didn’t expect people to take advantage of situations.”

    The dispute centres on Boulgaris having been paid $535,000 commission in advance, but he had earned only $339,990.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/print/4834145a6011.html

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  44. wat dabney (3,805 comments) says:

    The fair wage is whatever the market rate happens to be.

    The whole point of unions, of course, is to raise the earnings of their particular members above market rates – above the fair wage – and force everyone else to pay for it.

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  45. KevinH (1,236 comments) says:

    Thats good coin the wharvies are getting. They have always enjoyed better than average wages and conditions, so it is difficult to understand why they are spitting the dummy over four jobs. In my opinion they are shooting themselves in the foot, public opinion of them will take a fall when their salaries are released into the media.

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  46. Paulus (2,658 comments) says:

    Sell the poorly earning POA – its return on assets and container throughput is dismal. Look at Tauranga.
    Its a disgrace that Auckland ratepayers put up with this, but that’s Leningrad.

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  47. Richard Hurst (870 comments) says:

    I think this shows what happens under public ownership.

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  48. Put it away (2,880 comments) says:

    I used a forklift in a job I had once, took about 15 minutes to get the hang of it.

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  49. mitsilad (1 comment) says:

    As a professional with over 30 years experience I earn less than the average wharfie. I must complete 30 hours professional retraining each year, pay my professional association fees, my practising certificate, my professional indemnity insurance and have no annual leave or sick pay. I have customer expectations to meet or end up using my professional indemnity insurance. Given the stress I think that I will give it all away, earn more, stress less and work on the wharf. Who said education pays. How do I become a wharfie.

    To be fair, there is a need for genuine unions. Some workers do need the support, protection and assistance but there needs to be a balance and I think this union has tipped the balance in the wrong direction.

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  50. Francis_X (147 comments) says:

    “IF we had real leadership in this country then POAL would go to the Gumint with a plan as follows.

    1. Reduce pay plus all other conditions by 25% for 2012.

    2. Reduce 2012 pay plus conditions by 25% for 2013.

    At that point their pay and conditions would be par for the work they do.

    It would allow them time to adjust or find other work.

    The Gumint would support POAL to the extent of bringing in the Army to ensure goods continued to move.

    And you know what.

    IMHO the vast majority of citizens would not only support POAL and the Gumint but we might even see some picket action and other usual Union action taken against the workers.

    Time to toughen up JK grow some balls man!!!!!”

    lastmanstanding – throw in some torch-light processions; some really tight, black, leather uniforms; and some snappy stiff-arm salutes, and I’m with you, Comrade!!

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  51. Francis_X (147 comments) says:

    “Cactus Kate has details of the impoverished wages that the wharfies are striking over at the Ports of Auckland.

    Their oppressive employer is only paying them:

    An average full-time wage of $91,480″

    Are you STILL trotting out those fake figures, David…

    So what if they earn that much? (They don’t, but that’s another pile of BS to address… )

    Talk about Tall Poppy Syndrome…

    Would you knockers be happy if we were all paid the same as some poor schmuck in China?…

    [DPF: POAL have confirmed that is the average or mean full-time remuneration.

    I’m actually happy for them to earn that, so long as they actually work FT hours so it is for say 40 hours of actual work, not 28.]

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  52. Elaycee (4,403 comments) says:

    Haha – Francis_X surfaces again to try discredit the confirmation by the POAL that the average wharfie salary WAS north of $91,000 for the 2011 year.

    The figures were requested by Cactus Kate / provided and tables by Cactus / Whale and Kiwiblog / and subsequently confirmed by the POAL themselves. And the POA will be paying PAYE / FBT / Kiwisaver / ACC levies etc – all based on these figures, but if you know better than the POAL themselves, then do tell…..

    Nah? You don’t know at all? Thought not.

    Pfffttt…..

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  53. Elaycee (4,403 comments) says:

    Oh, and Francis_X – there is no need for any Government intervention in the strike action taken by the militant Maritime Union against the POA [owned by Auckland ratepayers].

    By commencing the consultation process re contracting, the POA is certainly heading in the right direction.

    All good. :D

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  54. Monique Watson (1,062 comments) says:

    Maybe we should ship our shit across our substantial land borders. Bummer. There aren’t any. The problem isn’t a handful of wharfies who require regular stroking. It’s the waste of money by Clark and co on a train track when we should have spent out money on a shipping company to get our goods out there.

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