The national interest in making the ports more efficient

January 11th, 2012 at 11:49 am by David Farrar

Fran O’Sullivan writes in the NZ Herald:

It seems pretty obvious that the ports company has been determined to ensure productivity at its downtown Waitemata Harbour operations is markedly increased. Particularly in the vital area of crane productivity, where rival Port of Tauranga sub-contracts its container stevedoring work and boasts a superior performance to its Auckland competitor.

If the didn’t see this one coming, then they haven’t been paying much attention to the Ministry of Transport report on container productivity at New Zealand ports. Nor has the union been paying attention to the Productivity Commission which estimates exporters and importers spend upwards of $5 billion a year on freight and has forecasted annual trade could be boosted by $1.25 billion if transport costs were shaved by 10 per cent. There is a national interest issue at stake here.

$1.25b if costs are down 10%. The are definitely working in the national interest if they can make themselves more efficient.

I note the Port of Tauranga sub-contracts its stevedoring work out. Maybe that sub-contractor could apply to do the work for Ports of Auckland also?

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85 Responses to “The national interest in making the ports more efficient”

  1. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,903 comments) says:

    If it’s in the national interest, perhaps the SAS should be deployed on the Auckland waterfront.

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  2. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    They’re too busy in Afghanistan at the moment, but they’ll be right back.

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  3. burt (8,269 comments) says:

    … but they’ll be right back.

    We have been saying that since Clark sent them over there….. Oh… I guess you wanted to forget that detail.

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  4. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    Hasn’t the PM said they’re coming home in March. Surely that’s the truth then…

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  5. burt (8,269 comments) says:

    mikenmild… Yeah sure, you go bitching about the difference between one or two weeks while ignoring they were sent there by the Labour party over 3 years ago. You are a perfect Labour supporter…. it’s OK when Labour do it.

    This union crap… sack the lot of them I say… lets let the workers negotiate with the employer. Hell there is not many people I know earning $100K/Year who think they need a union… these guys must be so gutless and pathetic if they are incapable of donating to Labour so they can lose their jobs without needing a union to do it for them.

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  6. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    Not sure what you think I’m bitching about, burt.

    The port workers are negotiating with the employer – that’s what a union does.

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  7. George Patton (349 comments) says:

    @mikenmild – this is the problem. You call it negotiation. When unions strike, I call it bad faith behaviour. It’s hardly a proper negotiation when unions are striking and behaving like spoilt brats despite the employer making concessions.

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  8. burt (8,269 comments) says:

    mikenmild

    I think you only read the advertising on the union packaging. You seem to forget their only real objective in this matter – to deduct fees from workers to donate to the Labour party.

    I guess in this case at least the workers can afford it – not so in most cases where low paid workers are paying through their union so that high paid politicians can tell us how wonderful unions are.

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  9. Wayne91 (142 comments) says:

    I wonder how many of the striking union POA workers now think this was a big mistake but are to scared to do anything about it due to being labeled class traitors and scabs?

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

    I loved the union leader on the telly last night saying how they must continue the good fight, I bet this prick has well and truly got his snout in the trough. Great getting paid while the useful idiots continue the “good fight”.

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  11. Blue Coast (165 comments) says:

    My suggestion is to get Les Dickson’s outfit from Tauranga ISO I think and give him the whole deal. He sorted Tauranga and Bluff and certainly has the balls to deal with Auckland.

    Mention his name and you will have the Union shitting themselves.

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  12. fish_boy (152 comments) says:

    “The national interest” as pontificated by Fran O’Sullivan, and parroted by Mr. Farrar.

    “The national interest?” Whose national interest, exactly? The Joe six pack waterside workers? Not bloody likely. Or is the “national interest” defined as in the interests of the foreign shipping companies and the 1% at the top who keep forever ripping off hard-working Kiwis so they can keep padding their obscene salaries and fees?

    “National interest?”

    What was it that Samuel Johnson said about patriotism being the last refuge of scoundrels?

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  13. DJP6-25 (1,387 comments) says:

    NZ 1 MUNZ 0. A perfect score.

    cheers

    David Prosser

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  14. ross (1,437 comments) says:

    I seem to recall the POA applauding workers last year for being so productive and increasing productivity. I guess that was different because they were not on strike then. Now they’re just money-hungry workers. LMAO

    I suggest you read Chris Trotter’s anaylsis, though the laughs are from the nutbars responding to him.

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  15. tvb (4,422 comments) says:

    It would be great if this dreadful old eyesore was shut down completely.

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  16. Wayne91 (142 comments) says:

    Ross “I seem to recall the POA applauding workers last year for being so productive and increasing productivity”

    Yes but you will find the increased productivity was from a very low base and still not enough to be competiive. Hence the need for change.

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  17. reid (16,457 comments) says:

    NZ 1 MUNZ 0. A perfect score.

    No I’m afraid it’s going to be NZ -2 MUNZ -5

    By being this intractable at this particular time in the world economy this leaves no option but to lock out the union which means pickets and ILO sanctions too, probably. After some time the union will have to accept casualisation anyway, it will be a fraction – I think the last offer is 15% casualisation – so what will be the point but that’s what I predict will happen.

    POA will lose millions this year, and for what? So much for even 8% ROI let alone 16%, which is what the board in their wisdom now requires from the port.

    Anyway you look at it however it’s a lose-lose. There’s nothing to cheer about when finally after months of no income the members finally do what they should have done well before Christmas. It’s not a victory, it’s just the end of a needless exercise bought about by an arrogant and bloody-minded belief-system that portrays the unions and its members as the victims in this.

    Once again lefty attitudes create needless friction. I wish they’d just stop talking about anything else apart from casualisation. I wish every press statement that went out was angled at encouraging the media to turn their “blowtorch1″ onto that question and get them to really ask the union why it is casualisation isn’t acceptable. That’s the only question worth asking, anything else is mere obfuscation.

    1 = yes I know it’s more like a one of those portable camp-burners you get from Kathmandu but what do we expect from Walrus and Campbell? They do their best, within their limitations (which are many).

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  18. ross (1,437 comments) says:

    The POA seemed very happy with wharfies late last year.

    http://www.poal.co.nz/news_media/publications/interconnect/010911_Ops_review.htm

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  19. ross (1,437 comments) says:

    “Yes but you will find the increased productivity was from a very low base and still not enough to be competiive”

    Is that your opinion?

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  20. Jimbob (641 comments) says:

    Socialists costing the country untold millions of dollars. I’m shocked.

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  21. ross (1,437 comments) says:

    Port productivity has increased significantly over the last 5 years…but don’t let that get in the way of some good old fashioned union bashing.

    http://www.poal.co.nz/news_media/publications/interconnect/010911_Ops_review.htm

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  22. bc (1,367 comments) says:

    Wow, burt you are one angry little dude!
    It’s stopped raining – summer is back (for a day or two anyway). Chill out!

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  23. ross (1,437 comments) says:

    http://www.poal.co.nz/news_media/publications/interconnect/010911_Ops_review.htm

    So producitivity has increased significantly for the past 5 years…those ungrateful wharfies. They should work for bread and water.

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  24. hmmokrightitis (1,590 comments) says:

    http://thestandard.org.nz/ports-paid-propagandist-says-cut-workers-pay/#comment-423980

    *smack*

    :)

    God forsaken lefties fucktards will be gutted, poor souls.

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  25. Graeme Edgeler (3,289 comments) says:

    Why should these workers sacrifice for the National Interest? If you want the benefits, shouldn’t you be prepared to pay?

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  26. Nostalgia-NZ (5,206 comments) says:

    But we still have a world first, workers striking for less pay than the company is offering. And the company with time on it’s side forcing a showdown which has led to customer loss. Anyone here that relys on their customers for business would make a CEO that lost business by being inflexible ‘walk the plank.’ It seems to me deepening the dispute is Gibson’s agenda, the job he’s been brought into do. The only way they’ll get the business back is buying it, which will mean further losses. Besides that who would buy into an industrial dispute during tough economic times, not someone that is losing his own money.

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  27. Wayne91 (142 comments) says:

    Ross -no its not my opinion, its a statement based on what I have read from the likes of POA, Mearsk and Fonterra, coupled with productivity comparisons between POT and POA. Not to mention what I have been able to ascertain from the reasons for this current dispute.

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  28. Wayne91 (142 comments) says:

    Oh Ross – and now this http://www.whaleoil.co.nz/2012/01/ports-confirms-salary-figures-of-wharfies/#disqus_thread

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  29. Richard29 (377 comments) says:

    “and get them to really ask the union why it is casualisation isn’t acceptable”

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10777330

    If what McCarten says about the $27 an hour (which is a pretty damned good rate for an semi-skilled job) and the switch to 2-12 hour casual (which is something I don’t think many full time employees would be cool with) is true then I can understand why the fulltimers are striking. If things got quiet and my employer had the ability to drop me down to 2 hours work a day I’d be pretty pissed off too. At $27 an hour they’d be getting $216 a week before tax, add to that the fact that you need to get too and from central Auckland 5 days a week you’d be worse off than somebody at home collecting a benefit. Obviously that’s just when business is slow, when things are busy you get to work 12 hours a day and never see your kids awake.

    The fantastical $90k a year number that’s being bandied about sounds great – but is is also not for a 40 hour working week and probably only applies to a tiny minority of workers (it looks like they are paid marginally above the average wage but have LOTS of overtime opportunities at certain times of the year).

    Flexibility and casualisation is a given, even the union admits that, it’s the nature of the industry. But the degree of flexibility being asked for by the employer sounds excessive and the fact that they want to make their entire permanent workforce casuals with the stroke of a pen is a pretty big move. I work full time and I recognise that my employer needs flexibility but if they tried to impose a 2-12 hour per day casual contract on me I’d tell them where to go.

    I’m not arguing that unions are always right and it’s impossible to know who is being reasonable or unreasonable here without the full facts (which nobody here has) that’s an assessment the mediators will need to make. But my point is that people join a union to represent their interests – if the casualisation proposal by POA is even vaguely similar to what McCarten describes then the union would be betraying the interests of their members if they didn’t fight it.

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  30. Elaycee (4,392 comments) says:

    @Wayne91 – beat me to it. :)

    Anyone asking themselves why productivity is appalling at the POA (compared to Tauranga) just needs to reflect on this:

    Wharfies earned on average $91,000 last financial year at the POA.

    They were paid an average of 43 hours per week, but worked on average only 28 hours per week.

    In a busy week, they get paid for 66.5 hours, but they work for a maximum of 44.5 hrs.

    No wonder the Maritime Union wants to try and shift the discussion away from the money.

    Contracting out is a logical decision. The sooner, the better.

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  31. beautox (422 comments) says:

    For those that can’t or won’t follow a link to the standard, I will repost the post from Catherine Etheredge
    Ports of Auckland.

    As you can see, $27 per hour is nowhere close to the real figure. If you count actual *working* time it’s an average of 91480/47*28=$69.50 per hour. If you count the actual time *at work* then it’s 91480/47*43= $45.25 per hour.

    (Note that *at work* does not actually mean physically at work. Workers often go home after their “working” day is over.)

    ==============================================================
    I can confirm that the average remuneration for a full time stevedore, in the year ended June 30, 2011, was $91,480. The average remuneration for a part time stevedore (guaranteed at least 24 hours work a week) was $65,518.

    53% of full time stevedores (123 individuals) earned over $80,000. 28% (43 individuals) earned over $100,000 with the highest earner making $122,000.

    The averages were calculated by POAL’s payroll team based on actual payments, including for leave days, medical insurance and superannuation contributions. (For employees covered by the collective agreement, POAL matches their superannuation contributions up to a maximum of 7%.) We excluded those who had worked for less than the full 12 months e.g. had left part way through the year.

    Employees are also entitled to 15 days sick leave per annum, accruing up to 45 days. All shift workers are entitled to five weeks annual leave. Training for all stevedoring tasks (crane driving, straddle driving and lashing) is undertaken in house and is paid for by the company.

    One question that has been asked is how many hours you have to work to earn that $91,000. Stevedores who earned the average $91,000 in the 2010/11 financial year were paid for an average of 43 hours per week, excluding leave days. If you factor leave days in, that increases to 49 hours per week.

    This leads to the key issue for the company – the high amount of paid downtime – an average of 35% of total hours paid. An employee getting paid for a 43 hour week is only working around 28 hours; for a 40 hour week, 26 hours. In a busy week, employees get paid for 66.5 hours but can only work for a maximum of 44.5.

    On Monday 9 January, to give a recent example, we paid 26 staff a total of $5,484,80 for downtime, because they were entitled to be paid until the end of their set eight hour shift even though the ship had finished & they had gone home. In another example employees worked two hours of an overtime shift but were paid for the full eight hours.

    This is not a cost-efficient nor sustainable labour model, especially when the company is not covering its cost of capital, cannot therefore justify further investment in order to grow, and its closest competitor has a labour utilisation rate in excess of 80%. (At Port of Tauranga stevedores start and finish work when a ship arrives and departs).

    The company has offered an upfront 10% increase to hourly rates along with the retention of existing terms and conditions in return for more flexible rosters which would significantly reduce the amount of paid downtime. Employees would have the opportunity to plan their roster a month in advance. This proposal would result in a people being remunerated for fewer overall hours at a higher rate than they would currently get for the same paid hours. To be fair, until such time as container volumes recover/improve, the 10% increase to hourly rates would not (as some commentators have suggested) push average remuneration over $100K.

    Catherine Etheredge
    Ports of Auckland

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  32. Nostalgia-NZ (5,206 comments) says:

    Excuse me Elaycee, what with them being greedy bludgers and all, why don’t they take the big extra $10,000 – are they just trying to trick us? And if port operations are in a critical phase why is old gibbo telling his customers to stuff off? Do you think he’s been influenced by watching John Cleese as Basil?
    Maybe the Government could rush through some appropriate emergency laws that make it an offence punishable by imprisonment for rotten, lazy, stevedores not to take more money when they’re offered it. I’m starting to think it’s a bit of an outrage. Next thing robbers will be holding up banks and giving them money, burglars will be breaking into houses and installing 40in TVs. Crikey.

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  33. Richard Hurst (859 comments) says:

    “Maybe that sub-contractor could apply to do the work for Ports of Auckland also?”

    Why would the sub-contractor want the Greens, Mana and that minor party Labour attacking him in public and in parliament? He would need the contract for the Ports of Auckland like he would a hole in the head.

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  34. lilman (959 comments) says:

    Grahame EDgeler, are you one of those pontificating tossers that complain about the price of milk and bemoan farmers making money for the betterment of the country and the national intrest I suppose?

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  35. Other_Andy (2,676 comments) says:

    McCarten says they earn about the $27 an hour…

    $27 per hour is nowhere close to the real figure. If you count actual *working* time it’s an average of 91480/47*28=$69.50 per hour. If you count the actual time *at work* then it’s 91480/47*43= $45.25 per hour.
    (Note that *at work* does not actually mean physically at work. Workers often go home after their “working” day is over.)

    So McCarten is lying?
    A leftie making things up (again).
    I am shocked………..

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  36. Richard29 (377 comments) says:

    @ beautox

    Thanks for the link – only saw the link after I’d posted.

    I might have to apply for a stevedore job!

    Would be interested if the union puts out a counter release. There are some question marks I’d have with the POA numbers What proportion of the workers have worked less than 12 months, is their pay comparable to the sample used here?
    She says that under the new contract paid hours would “significantly reduce” but doesn’t specify by how much. I would presume that as they are looking to lift their labour utilisation by 20% or so that paid hours would drop by a similar amount This makes sense as it would be a net pay cut for the staff – unions don’t tend to go on strike over getting given a net 10% pay increase.

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  37. Wayne91 (142 comments) says:

    Nostalgia – “why dont they take the extra 10K?” Because they would have to actually work for it, thats why

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  38. Elaycee (4,392 comments) says:

    Nostalgia-NZ: Nice try. No cigar. :)

    You have commented many times recently re this strike action and have suggested that the numbers were wrong /the wharfies are not getting a fair deal etc. Now that the numbers have been confirmed by the POA, I’d suggest that the wharfies ARE getting a great deal – any job paying over $91,000 pa for an average of 43 hours per week, is certainly a nice number.

    And its no use blaming the CEO for the instruction by Len Brown’s Council to increase the ROR from 6% to 12% over 5 years. The CEO is simply doing his job!

    And for the record:

    1. The 10% increase offered by POA was to the hourly rate. But as a trade off, increased flexibility and increased productivity was required from the wharfies.

    2. I think you’re being harsh calling the wharfies ‘greedy bludgers’ – after all, they actually work up to 43 hrs per week.

    3. The CEO hasn’t told his customers to stuff off – I think you’ll find it was Maersk and Fonterra telling the POA.

    4. No new Laws are necessary – the POA has the ability to manage their own Company as they see fit. If they decide to contract out, they will. Hopefully, this will occur sooner rather than later – before more customers are lost.

    FIFY.

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  39. ross (1,437 comments) says:

    It’s great to see Catherine Etheridge come to the party and be so helpful. Obviously in the interests of fairness and full disclosure, she might like to answer the following questions.

    1. How much does she get paid and how many hours is she required to work to get paid this figure?
    2. What skills (if any) are required for her job?
    3. Does she get paid for supplying blogs with personal information about stevedores?
    4. Has she supplied blogs with personal information about her own pay and working conditions? If not, why not?
    5. How much annual and sick leave does she receive?
    6. Has she received any bonuses since being employed by the Ports of Auckland? If so, what were the amounts of these bonuses and why did she receive them?
    7. Is there any other information about her employment by POA which she would like to disclose?

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  40. Monty (978 comments) says:

    But the union guy Paslowe does not want the Port of Auckland to introduce the “management practices” of Port of Tauranga. He said this several times when being interviewed yesterday on Newstalk ZB. He did not tell us why the Port of Tauranga model is so poor, or why such practice should be good for Tauranga, but not good for Auckland – self interest perhaps?. Maybe Paslow is not interested in an efficient port that would create more efficient and competitive business, and thus more jobs in the wider business community?

    I agree with Adolf – but maybe the SAS should also be deployed to the MUNZ offices as they have declared themselves to be hostile to NZ.

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  41. Wayne91 (142 comments) says:

    Ross – while we are waiting for her information why don’t you address the information allready at hand that has blown most of the unions and your arguments out of the water.

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  42. F E Smith (3,305 comments) says:

    ross,

    like Ms Etheridge’s pay or conditions has any relevance to the subject of this thread…

    What you are really saying is that the platform of self-righteous indignation and untruth has been pulled out from under you and your lefty buddies and you are not happy about it!

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  43. ross (1,437 comments) says:

    “while we are waiting for her information why don’t you address the information allready at hand that has blown most of the unions and your arguments out of the water.”

    That would be your opinion.

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  44. trout (939 comments) says:

    Catherine Etheridge is, as far as I know, not on strike, and does not appear to want to undermine her Employer’s credibility in the marketplace thereby sabotaging the business (an own goal it seems).

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  45. ross (1,437 comments) says:

    “like Ms Etheridge’s pay or conditions has any relevance to the subject of this thread…”

    Like this thread has any relevance to the dispute. :)

    Slow day at the office, F E Smith, or are you still on holiday?

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  46. ross (1,437 comments) says:

    Trout, her employer’s credibility is in tatters…I suggest you read Chris Trotter’s analysis of this dispute. It’s a little more nuanced than DPF’s. :)

    [DPF: You don't meet many people do you? Must be great living in a cloud just of your leftie mates.

    I'd guarantee you that the vast vast majority of NZers think POAL is far more credible than the Maritime Union]

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  47. Monty (978 comments) says:

    Ross you are a fool – typical of a leftie.
    Catherine Etheredge is under no obligation whatsoever to detail her renumeration package. She works for the PoAL and has no doubt come to an arrangement based on supply and demand for her services and working conditions that both she and her employer is happy with. I guess she actually does work more than 26 hours per week, and delivers value for money.

    Importantly her work conditions are not relevant to the discussion. What is at stake here is the lies of the Union trying to dispell the fact that the unionised bullying selfish and soon to be unemployed unionist gets on average $91,000 and extraordinarily generous working conditions. About time there was a reality check and Catherine has provided it.

    Oh dear the lying scumbag unionists have been exposed. The MUNZ is going to reduce its revenue by about $500,000 per annum. People are going to be accountable as a company re-structures. Lets see if those watersiders can prove their economic worth to some truck driving company. The shake-up is coming and it will be great to watch the fireworks

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  48. F E Smith (3,305 comments) says:

    ross,

    this thread has no relevance whatsoever to the dispute. It does, however, have some relevance to those participating in or reading the discussion.

    Are you trying to distract us from the fact that your side’s position has been completely undermined?

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  49. Nostalgia-NZ (5,206 comments) says:

    Thanks for the cigar Elaycee, could you make it an havana next time because I don’t want to look out of place if I go spying in a union pub to see how many of them are wearing rolex watches.
    I think I’m starting to get it, the wharfies don’t want an extra $200 a week because they’re not ‘greedy bludgers’ and they do work up to 43 hours a week. I guess sometime soon the union will confirm or deny that.
    Additionally, it’s not the CEO’s fault because he’s been told to increase the ROR 6% over 5 years and he just thought he might do so before xmas (less than a year) so he could have a longer holiday and work on his tan, but not to cause any premature unrest. And when Maesrk denied Gibson’s claim that the union action was the reason for them departing they were actually telling a big whopper by pointing out that was one of a number of reasons. And of course when Gibson shouted the lads a barbie for a record performance last year the only reason was because he was sizing their backs for when he plunged the dagger in. Hunky dory.

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  50. Keeping Stock (10,340 comments) says:

    @ ross: Catherine Etheredge was challenged by a commenter on The Standard to supply the information. If anyone has breached the privacy of the striking MUNZ workers, it is the Standard commenter known as Craig Glen Eden

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  51. ross (1,437 comments) says:

    “Catherine Etheredge is under no obligation whatsoever to detail her renumeration package.”

    I didn’t say she was. But she might like to, since she’s POA’s mouthpiece. She seems to be saying that wharfies get paid too much. I’m not sure that’s her job.

    I have a few other questions.

    1. What would have been the total wage bill of the POA’s first offer to wharfies? How does that compare with the POA’s most recent offer and how does that compare to the current wage bill?
    2. How many wharfies at the POA were paid bonuses in the last financial year and why were those bonuses paid?
    3. How many middle or senior managers at POA were paid bonuses in the last financial year and why were those bonuses paid?

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  52. reid (16,457 comments) says:

    I didn’t say she was. But she might like to, since she’s POA’s mouthpiece. She seems to be saying that wharfies get paid too much. I’m not sure that’s her job.

    Actually Ross she’s simply giving facts. I didn’t see too much opinion in what she wrote. Possibly the issue lies with those who don’t like said facts so they try to pretend they don’t exist but they can’t do that cos they do. So in frustration they try to pretend they mean something else, when they don’t. Everyone knows this and sees this happening when you or people who think you do, do this. Frankly it’s a childish waste of time.

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  53. Nostalgia-NZ (5,206 comments) says:

    Keeping Stock, Catherine wasn’t forced by anybody to release those figures, it’s part of the ‘good faith’ shown by POAL, released unsubstantiated ‘facts’ to bring pressure on the dockers, then essentially tell them they’re sacked publicly before tomorrow’s mediation. It’s pretty obvious Gibson had a brief he got with the job and he’s none to subtle about it.

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  54. hmmokrightitis (1,590 comments) says:

    Nostalgia, maybe you should check facts first before trying to create bollocks. What Catherine released is a matter of public record. Not unsubstantiated. Facts in the public domain. Are you as much a knob in person as you appear to be on the interweb?

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  55. ross (1,437 comments) says:

    > Actually Ross she’s simply giving facts.

    Alleged facts, I’m sure you mean. You’re ignoring the fact that Ms Etheredge has said that wharfies’ pay is “unsustainable”. That apparently is her opinion because she has not substantiated why it’s unsustainable. And if it’s unsustainable, one wonders why POA agreed to such pay in the first place.

    She is the company’s mouthpiece, so has a vested intrest in the dispute. I’d rather get my “facts” from someone without a vested interest. But nonetheless it would be useful to obtain accurate information to my questions.

    [DPF: No one at all can possibly know the average pay except the employer. But hey enjoy your tin hat]

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  56. ross (1,437 comments) says:

    Earlier today, Ms Etheredge said:

    “On Monday 9 January…we paid 26 staff a total of $5,484,80 for downtime, because they were entitled to be paid until the end of their set eight hour shift even though the ship had finished & they had gone home. In another example employees worked two hours of an overtime shift but were paid for the full eight hours. This is not a cost-efficient nor sustainable labour model, especially when the company is not covering its cost of capital…”

    What does it mean that the company is not covering its cost of capital? Is that a fact or is it bullshit?

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  57. Elaycee (4,392 comments) says:

    Nostalgia-NZ: ‘Nice try. No cigar’ means er, no cigar. So you actually get SFA. But feel free to dream on….

    The customers left POA because they didn’t want the risk of supply chain uncertainty. Had the CEO of the POA told his customers to (your words) ‘stuff off’, then he would have been fired by his Board. But he didn’t say that at all – so please don’t suggest otherwise because it just makes you look as if you tell porkies.

    The truth is that Cactus Kate initially researched and tabled the salary info. But the unions kept telling lies, so Catherine Etheredge from POA has tabled it again. And guess what? The numbers are the same! But no privacy issues are involved at all because no-one was named, but (in case you don’t know), SX companies / public entities / etc are required to list their employee salaries by band – so, unless you’re Penny Bright and can’t tell consolidated accounts from subsidiary accounts and you lump them together), its not hard to see the facts. So again, please stop telling porkies.

    And by the way, the figures are hardly ‘unsubstantiated’ – they have come from the POA themselves!

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  58. ross (1,437 comments) says:

    > DPF: No one at all can possibly know the average pay except the employer…

    In other words, DPF, whatever the company says must be true and should never be questioned. Oh OK then.

    [DPF: You challenge if you have credible evidence to the contrary. You don't. You are just living in a cocoon where any info that does not fit your world view, you pretend is a lie. It is really rather sad]

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  59. ross (1,437 comments) says:

    “the figures are hardly ‘unsubstantiated’ – they have come from the POA themselves!”

    Yeah, it’s not like the company would inadvertently make a mistake. Have you ever made a mistake?

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  60. F E Smith (3,305 comments) says:

    ross,

    you keep trying, don’t you? Well, full marks for persistence.

    Ms Etheridge has given the details in response to the persistent allegations that the figures given by the POAL, Whaleoil and CK are lies.  That is what they have been called.  Now, when Ms Etheridge, an employee of POAL, gives the full details plus examples, you try to distract from the fact that you and your accomplices on the left have been caught out in untruths and dissembling yourselves, instead question her motivations?  Apparently you forget that she is an employee- it would be fair to assume that her comments on The subStandard are not her own opinions but instead those of her employer, POAL.

    Which would make them entirely consistent.  

     Being the company’s mouthpiece in no way gives her an interest in the dispute.  It gives her an interest in conveying what her employer wants to be conveyed. 

     But you keep up your protestations, now, even though they are hollow.

    Edit: And now you are accusing POAL of disseminating false data!!!! That is hilarious!!!! And you know it is false how? And don’t give me any bollocks about having said ‘mistake’- we all know what you meant.

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  61. slijmbal (1,236 comments) says:

    The parallels with my old town of Liverpool are quite impressive. Working for the Mersey Docks and Harbour Board was seen as one of the higher paying rip off jobs around with even more impressive union negotiated conditions but of a similar ilk e.g. being generously paid for availability and full days for part days.

    It ended up being the death of most of the jobs there as it pushed capital investment to reduce the need for workers and pushed cargo to other ports. My uncle, who worked there, complained bitterly about how they all got made redundant as they workers did not know when they were on to a good thing and kept pushing for more.

    The point about getting flexible working hours is that there needs to be a couple of things paid for:
    – the worker being available to work at different times – sort of ‘on call’
    – the worker working variable length days including short and long days
    – the worker actually doing the work.

    It is common in the IT industry to pay someone an amount for being available to work on demand for instance and then pay them higher hourly rates when they do whatever the task is outside of a normal schedule and pay them ‘normal hourly rates’. I would have thought they could base rates on such an approach quite easily – tie it to a minimum guaranteed income base and then it would reward better those who are more flexible and more accurately reflect what is actually being paid for.

    I did some work in IT on the whole scheduling and container unloading, loading and movement for a large port and the point was that it was incredibly difficult logistical task to fully smooth out the workload and that flexibility in the workforce was a necessity. There are lots of late breaking decisions made e.g. containers travel at different $ charge and the cheap ones will get bumped if more expensive charges are paid.

    But the all above said $90K a year is a bloody good remuneration for what is essentially a semi-skilled job with awkward working hours and they have competition down the road willing to accept less I would surmise and they’re being dumb. They will never win this argument. They’re being paid just too much to get sympathy. Certainly not from me.

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  62. Keeping Stock (10,340 comments) says:

    @ FE Smith the only “false data” that has been disseminated is the myth that full-time stevedores earn on average around $64,000 per annum. And that myth, of course, has been perpetuated by the Maritime Union of New Zealand, and its lap-blog (and that of the Labour Party), The Standard.

    Who’d have ever seen that coming?

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  63. F E Smith (3,305 comments) says:

    KS,

    nah, wouldn’t have expected it at all!!! :D

    On the same topic, the lefties call us righties and conservatives (often two different things) haters, but the hate that washes over you when you read their stuff is amazing.

    Full marks to you on braving The subStandard, by way.

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  64. Elaycee (4,392 comments) says:

    “What does it mean that the company is not covering its cost of capital? Is that a fact or is it bullshit?”

    Look it up yourself, ross.

    Go to the POA website and read / download the 2011 Annual Report from their media section. Look at the financials (but read them properly – unlike Penny Not-So…).

    Do the math. It shouldn’t take you long to work it out. :D

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  65. grumpyoldhori (2,362 comments) says:

    Ross, you are full of shit, unlike you I have carted off the wharfs and had run ins with the absolute lazy arseholes they are.
    You seem to be arguing that an unskilled job on the wharf deserves more pay than say one of the lads on the forest roads carting heavy loads on crap roads, that does take some skill far more than wheeling around on the wharf.
    And yes I am on the left but unlike you my hands are rather worn from physical work, something I doubt you have experience of.

    Those scum for far to long had a father to son inheritance of being fucking idle which is why wharfies were whiter than white with fuck all lazy Maori or PI able to get in.
    And too fucking often the father was a visitor to NZ, maybe you can say why fucking poms were being overpaid for doing fuck all.

    I hope the bastards keep on striking because we who know what real physical work is will laugh our tits off when the Tauranga contractor is bought in to replace the scum with those who will work.

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  66. Nostalgia-NZ (5,206 comments) says:

    ‘hmmokrightitis (241) Says:

    January 11th, 2012 at 4:45 pm
    Nostalgia, maybe you should check facts first before trying to create bollocks. What Catherine released is a matter of public record. Not unsubstantiated. Facts in the public domain. Are you as much a knob in person as you appear to be on the interweb?’

    Keep your hairpiece on. We are talking about a complete operation, perhaps as Ross has said, and because it is a public company, then all wages and salary’s should be tabled, not just what the ‘faithful’ Catherine has released as part of her job in ensuring ‘good faith’ negotiations. And dare I point out that the even if accurate the average hours estimates are hardly enlightening, do they for example include the ‘generous’ allowances POAL management are generously opening the books on only part of the picture of a complete operation but as a rate payer why I am I not entitled to know the management salaries, bonuses and other initiatives. As someone else has pointed out if the rates were agreed upon until last September, why is it suddenly crisis time, with part of the crisis being that the dirty dockers won’t take $200 more?

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  67. hmmokrightitis (1,590 comments) says:

    Oh god nostalgia, do I have to do this line by line, are you really that slow?

    1. The tabled and released information is a matter of public record. You did get that bit right? The AVERAGE POAL wharfie (see below, picking up shit and moving it around) takes home $NZD90K.

    2. The good Catherine’s role is not under dispute. Those who pick shit up and move it about is. Im sure they consider themselves as skilled as a Director – meh, governance, ask lefty’s about that, any dumb fucker can do governance, right? According to CV at the Standard, sack em all, put a committee in there, pay them $2.5K each. Riigghhttt. That’ll work, yes indeedy. Or not. Being a Director carries risk, hence reward above the norm, and takes years of experience and training to get it right in large organisations. How do I know this? Im a Director, and I train Directors in governance.

    3. You are entitled to ask anything you like as a rate payer, go ahead.

    4. Its crisis time because the union made it so. 10 offers, 6 rejected, 3 ignored, 1 on the table. Do the math.

    If you get a chance, read some of what the union leader has to say. Welcome back to England in the 50’s. My uncle was a wharfie in Auckland during the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. Laziest tosser there was. Earnt as much as my Father, a CEO and Director. Wharfie, vs. the CEO of a company employing 150 staff.

    Yes, unions have there place, but this time they have gone way too far.

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  68. Nostalgia-NZ (5,206 comments) says:

    Elaycee.

    ‘The customers left POA because they didn’t want the risk of supply chain uncertainty. Had the CEO of the POA told his customers to (your words) ‘stuff off’, then he would have been fired by his Board. But he didn’t say that at all – so please don’t suggest otherwise because it just makes you look as if you tell porkies.’

    You keep saying this but it is not what Maesrk said. Of course I’m not suggesting that Gibson literally said ‘stuff off’ but by creating a crisis when there didn’t need to be one he effectively did. You said Gibson had five years to raise ROR by 6%, that equates to 1.2% per year, deepening a stoush has already set that figure back, how can that be in the interest of the owners or the eventual target – especially when those customers may not return. Another feature here is that the big winners at the moment are the haulage companies, which is not of any assistance to the importers or exporters. It’s long been a standard in my industry that the big product buyers keep their buying price about the same, that get altered when new companys come in and starting ‘buying’ customers with sweetheart prices that they eventually wind back. Fonterra are exploiting this situation to the max, Gibson by going backwards to eventually (hopefully) go forward – is something risky and not what most would be inclined to do if it’s your own money.

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  69. Keeping Stock (10,340 comments) says:

    FE Smith said

    Full marks to you on braving The subStandard, by way.

    I consider it an honour FE to take one for the team :-)

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  70. Elaycee (4,392 comments) says:

    Nostalgia says: “You keep saying this but it is not what Maesrk said.”

    Well, you could have easily done your own research. but I’ll do it for you:

    “Maersk have explained to us that the possibility of further industrial unrest has been central to their decision to shift the service to Tauranga. ” Tony Gibson. CEO, POA. http://www.aktnz.co.nz/2012/01/03/auckland-ports-shock-20m-blow/

    And in Stuff: http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/6093215/Maersk-blames-strikes-pulls-one-Auckland-service

    And this from Maersk: “The industrial action at Auckland played a part in the decision, Maersk’s New Zealand marketing manager Dave Gulik said in a separate statement. The security of their supply chain is of primary importance to our customers, so anything affecting that, or likely to affect that in the future, will come into the equation when we are deciding schedules,” Gulik said.” http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10771278

    So, Nostalgia – please stop telling porkies. You credibility is as good as a three dollar note.

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  71. Nostalgia-NZ (5,206 comments) says:

    hmmokrightitis (242) Says:

    January 11th, 2012 at 6:12 pm

    It probably is $90,000, I don’t know all the conditions of that, do you? And of course it’s good money, appears to be around 40 to 43 dollars an hour and ports want to increase that (on these figures) to about $48 – however the dockers say no we want job security – so isn’t the offer simply to allow POAL to say negotiations have failed (even though the process isn’t complete) and arrive at the real figure and the real conditions they always wanted to impose using contractors – even though they port staff will likely be employed by the new contractors. Whose bsing who here?

    You must be brilliantly skilled to train directors and show impatience with slow people like me, congratulations. But please take the time to explain the good governance of losing customers on your watch when a more steady, steady, approach most likely would of held onto them?

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  72. hmmokrightitis (1,590 comments) says:

    You do see an emerging yet persistent theme here nostalgia…with you at the centre of a not very bright star…you’re not a friend of Batshit Bright are you?

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  73. Nostalgia-NZ (5,206 comments) says:

    Elaycee.

    “The industrial action at Auckland played a part in the decision, Maersk’s New Zealand marketing manager Dave Gulik said in a separate statement.”

    You might be getting overheated, but that’s what I did say and have always said.

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  74. hmmokrightitis (1,590 comments) says:

    Sorry nostalgia, I have to explain the difference between a purely operational matter and governance? Why? Boards don’t delve in to customer shit, they deal with G O V E R N A N C E and the CEO’s long term performance to agreed strategic goals. Not whether a customer has walked and then panic 5 minutes later.

    Maybe YOU could be one of CV’s new committee members!!!! You’ve got the skills, init?!?!

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  75. Nostalgia-NZ (5,206 comments) says:

    hmmokrightitis (244) Says:

    ‘January 11th, 2012 at 6:45 pm
    Sorry nostalgia, I have to explain the difference between a purely operational matter and governance? Why? Boards don’t delve in to customer shit, they deal with G O V E R N A N C E and the CEO’s long term performance to agreed strategic goals. Not whether a customer has walked and then panic 5 minutes later.

    Maybe YOU could be one of CV’s new committee members!!!! You’ve got the skills, init?!?!’

    Well said the man in the boxer shorts. ‘Boards don’t delve in to customer shit,’ bloody brilliant – no interest in losing customers or revenue, no interest in targetting particular customers on which to make the business grow – it’s ‘long term’ performance, don’t worry if the wheels fall off on the 1st corner we’ve got 5 years to get it right! You’re a laugh a minute, tally ho old bun.

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  76. hmmokrightitis (1,590 comments) says:

    Hence why numpty dipshits like you don’t get governance. Its not operational stuff that Boards do, its governance. Its the one thing I get new Directors to understand that will make or break their role as a professional Director – the difference between their role and operations.

    Don’t buy a dog and teach it how to wag its tail. Go on nostalgia, ask CV for a place on the POAL Central Workers Committee he’s setting up, I hear they sing the Red Flag at the start of each meeting! :)

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  77. Nostalgia-NZ (5,206 comments) says:

    hmmokrightitis (245) Says:

    January 11th, 2012 at 7:44 pm

    You’re getting more lucid by the minute. Try getting a real job and do some work instead of bsing all the time, and get rid of that comb over. “The board doesn’t care about strikes, what’s wrong you man. I teach people not to worry when the ship is going down it’s all about being a director of a ship wreck.’ Spot on nellie.

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  78. hmmokrightitis (1,590 comments) says:

    Wow, comb over, boxers, bun, nellie, there are lots of voices aren’t there. And now you assume I don’t have a ‘real’ job? Whats a real job – $90K a year for short hours picking shit up? Real enough homey?

    Typical socialist – if its not with your hands, its not worthy. Poor lamb. Worked my way through two degrees in factories, so glad I did. And now I guide Boards. Read From Good to Great, you might get it. Night nosty :)

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  79. Nostalgia-NZ (5,206 comments) says:

    Some of us steer our own ships, and look not to lose revenue where avoidable, prepared to minimise any potential losses. Feet on the ground stuff, not sitting around lecturing but making money. Try it some time old bean.
    Nite, nite.

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

    Do they hirer farmers or do you have to lick hairy leftie arse to get in? Shit I could go for 43 hours a week for 90K. I have no wish for people to be turned into slaves but the world is no longer as forgiving/ or as rich as it once was. These pricks have to start smelling the coffee, do they think every time the export sector takes a hit we magically get a pay rise? Arseholes want to join the real world.

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  81. Nostalgia-NZ (5,206 comments) says:

    Sorry that you feel left out side show bob.

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

    That’s quite alright Nostalgia, to be honest I’m probably better on the ship then standing on the wharf. I simply know how many hours i work a week and it’s not 43 but to be fair my income is some what greater. Having said that, so are the risks, so are the hours, so is the work load. When it’s all said and done I get what our exports make on the market, I doubt these guys would have any clue what that meant . Most in this country live in a false paradise where money, wages, etc just appear out of thin air, the people this post gives it’s attention to are living in a dream, bout time they woke up.

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  83. Nostalgia-NZ (5,206 comments) says:

    Yes Bob. Anyone that works for themselves (well at least most) work obsessive hours. I went for years ‘on call’ in a mediocre industry for crap returns, so I do understand that being on call isn’t a great life style. I don’t begrudge anybody a fair wage or one that reflects such things a ‘flexible’ hours or being on call and a hell of a lot of people get screwed over such work arrangements. I don’t know the full picture on the wharf but it is clear this confrontation is planned and in my opinion untimely. People working for themselves don’t want to lose good customers, and as the result of that will do some work at marginal costs in the interests of the big picture. I feel a steady hand and co-operation would have got a better result on the wharf but of course I’m influenced by the fact as self-employed I realise every dollar has to be fought for. I concentrate on few good customers and put every effort in, probaby the reason why I think this event, and the confrontation aspect is misguided. Overall, trimming or improviing the economy in tough times seems what a business owner would do, and I can’t help but feeling that seeing money wasted, exports slowed, expenses increased for customers is much appreciated by them.
    Of course a heap of people think wages come out of thin air, and that can include executives with no financial interest in the decisions they make. I have a mate, ex miner, ex union delegate, ex farmer, now owning a company with around 60 staff that’s come through the down turn pretty nicely, he worries about every dollar, has a good life style, pays his staff well, is tough as nails when he needs to be – probably like me does around 60 to 70 hours per week, also like me has to keep the wheels turning when no other bastard will, or when dithering or a crisis takes place because in reality like farmers, exporters, importers, retailers, freight companies he doesn’t need contrived restraints on his income because they happen naturally at times anyway. I don’t agree with work stopping over posturing and bsing which somehow ‘secretly’ makes me a ‘leftie.’ What a bloody joke. Like my mate I’ve had punchups and all with drivers, pricks stealing the works, but have spent the last few years putting a lot of effort into staff because I see them as an asset which they clearly are. I don’t expect them to act like ratbags or rip me off, likewise I’m exactly the same with them – and we must all understand that customers are kings.

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  84. Swampy (191 comments) says:

    Richard29 (139) Says:
    January 11th, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    What you are saying is crap, the POAL has guaranteed 160 hours work a month in its offer. They just want the flexibility to set a shift length of exactly the amount of work needed not paying a full shifts’ wages for two hours of work that they do now.

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  85. Swampy (191 comments) says:

    “To be fair, until such time as container volumes recover/improve, the 10% increase to hourly rates would not (as some commentators have suggested) push average remuneration over $100K.

    Catherine Etheredge
    Ports of Auckland”

    INcluding such a commentator as Mr Farrar of this very forum.

    10% increase in hourly rate does not equal 10% increase on 91,000.

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