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ITF announces ‘victory for the good guys’ in long running Auckland dispute

Saturday in New Zealand: MUNZ officers Joe Fleetwood and Garry Parsloe get support from the ILWU delegation including International Vice President-Mainland Ray Familathe, center.

In March 2013, ILWU delegates stood in solidarity with the Maritime Union of New Zealand against outsourcing and anti-union tactics employed by POAL. Pictured: MUNZ officers Joe Fleetwood and Garry Parsloe, with ILWU International Vice President-Mainland Ray Familathe in the center.

Good news for New Zealand dockworkers from the International Transport Workers’ federation:

The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) is joining its affiliate the Maritime Union of New Zealand (MUNZ) in celebrating the signing of a new collective agreement for workers at the Ports of Auckland.

MUNZ had been locked in a dispute with employer Ports of Auckland Limited (POAL) since 2011 over a new collective agreement for wharfies, with strike and lockout action taken.

But in recent days, union members voted unanimously to ratify a new collective employment agreement with POAL. The deal has since been signed.

ITF president, chair of the ITF dockers’ section and national secretary of the Maritime Union of Australia Paddy Crumlin said: “This dispute goes way back to 2011 and I congratulate the Maritime Union of New Zealand and its members for sticking to their guns and staying strong in their quest for a collective agreement.

“It’s great to see that common sense has prevailed.

“This is a victory for the good guys.”

MUNZ National Secretary Joe Fleetwood said a resolution to the dispute was important for the workforce.

“This four-year dispute put enormous strain on workers and their families at Ports of Auckland and I’d like to congratulate them for their strength and resolve,” Mr Fleetwood said.

“I’d also like to thank the ITF and the international trade union community. There were rallies and actions of solidarity and support from right around the globe, including outside NZ embassies and consulates in support of the MUNZ struggle.”

MUNZ national president Garry Parsloe, who played a leading role in resolving the dispute and will retire at the end of next month, said: “The new agreement is a positive step for workers at the Ports of Auckland and it should ensure the continued success of the port going forward.”

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