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The Maritime Union of New Zealand has issued Ports of Auckland with a new seven-day full strike notice, according to Scoop.co.nz.

The industrial action will start at 7am on Feb. 24, and is on top of a partial notice already in place from 7am on Feb. 15 until 7am on Feb. 22.

The partial strike will see wharfies refuse to work on containers moved by the port subsidiary Conlinxx.

President Garry Parsloe says the week-long strike is in response to industrial action set to threaten workers livelihoods.

“These industrial actions are intended to focus the attention of management on the real issues, and the importance of secure jobs to our members,” Parsloe said in a statement.

If progress is made and management return to negotiations then industrial action may be reconsidered, he said.

This is the union’s seventh strike against the Ports of Auckland by the 300 unionised workers amid a protracted dispute over management’s desire to cut costs by increasing use of casual labour.

The dispute has cost the port contracts with shipping line Maersk and dairy exporter Fonterra Cooperative Group, who have shifted to Port of Tauranga and Port of Napier.

Parsloe says a meeting of the Auckland Council’s Accountability and Performance Committee questioned Auckland Council Investments Limited Chief Executive Gary Swift this morning and was told by Swift that outsourcing the workforce at the Ports of Auckland was a last resort and the preference was for a collective employment agreement to be negotiated.

Parsloe says the report outlined the profitability and success of the port.

The annual report notes cargo and container volumes had achieved record levels, that all time best crane rates for loading containers had been achieved in what was described in the report as a “great annual result” after a “challenging year”, and ship turnaround times had also reached new record levels of achievement.

Parsloe says the report flatly contradicts the so-called productivity crisis that had been manufactured by port management and promoted in the media, damaging the ports reputation.

He says the results were a credit to the workforce who were now under threat of outsourcing by management. Source: Scoop.co.nz

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