Issue 18 • June/July 2007
Magazine of the Maritime Union of New Zealand
“Touch one, touch all – unity is strength”
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NATIONAL MEETINGS At the Ports Forum, Wellington, May 2007: Andrew Jennings (Port Chalmers), Carl Findlay (Auckland Local 13), Peter Quedley (Auckland Local 13), Michael Parker (Senate Communications), Dave Phillips (Local 13)
National Council Meeting, Wellington, 7–10 May 2007
Amalgamation process called off
Maritime Union meets in Wellington
The proposed amalgamation between the Maritime Union of New Zealand and Rail and Maritime Union of New Zealand is off. A final meeting of the two unions on 30 May could not produce agreement on key points so it was mutually agreed that the amalgamation process be ended. Maritime Union General Secretary Trevor Hanson says the decision was made in good faith. A suitable model could not be agreed as both unions had different perspectives.
The National Executive of the Maritime Union met at Waterside House in Wellington from 7–10 May 2007. This regular meeting takes place twice a year and is where the Union comes together to discuss business and deal with the issues that we face. A number of rank and file observers attended from branches around New Zealand, both younger members of the Union and those who have been loyal members for many years.
Mike Shakespeare, Joe Fleetwood, John Shaw and Ike Iken at the Ports Forum, Wellington, May 2007 2 | The Maritimes | June/July 2007
He says that the Maritime Union will continue its positive relationship with the RMTU at the national and ports level. The final meeting followed a National Executive meeting of the Maritime Union in Wellington in May. Members of the Maritime Union attended a joint ports forum in Wellington where issues were discussed between rank and file members. The two Unions had carried out negotiations on an ongoing basis.
On 8–10 May, the meeting moved to the nearby St Johns venue where the RMTU were holding their “ports forum” for their members in the ports industry. Workshops were held with members from both Unions discussing common areas of interest.
MUNZ and RMTU members discuss industry issues at the Ports Forum in Wellington, May 2007 www.munz.org.nz
From the Editor’s Desk Edition 18, June/July 2007
Contents National meetings General Secretary’s Report National President’s Report News Kiwisaver Maersk ITF Global Port privatization CTU Self loading Methyl Bromide Port Roundups Letters Reviews The Back Page
2 4 5 6 9 10 12 14 15 16 18 19 31 31 32
‘The Maritimes’ is published quarterly by the Maritime Union of New Zealand. ISSN 1176-3418 National Office: PO Box 27004 Wellington New Zealand Telephone 04 3850 792 Fax 04 3848 766 Email: email@example.com Web: www.munz.org.nz Editor: Victor Billot Mobile: 021 482219 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Editorial Board: Trevor Hanson, Phil Adams, Garry Parsloe and Russell Mayn Deadline for all Port reports, submissions, photos and letters: 1 September 2007 for next edition Cover photo: From the archives – Auckland maritime workers support Australian workers international day of protest against antiworker industrial laws, 15 November 2005 (photo courtesy of Finsec) http://creativecommons.org/licenses/ by/2.0/deed.en-us Thanks to our photographers including Terry Ryan, Harry Holland, Kathy Whelan, Bill Connelly, Garry Parsloe, and Simon Oosterman
Contact the Maritime Union National Office Telephone: 04 3850 792 Fax: 04 3848 766 Address: PO Box 27004, Wellington Office administrator: Valentina Goray Email: email@example.com General Secretary: Trevor Hanson Direct dial: 04 8017 614 Mobile: 021 390585 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org National President: Phil Adams Direct dial: 03 4728 052 Mobile: 0274 377601 Email: email@example.com National Vice President: Garry Parsloe Direct dial: 09 3032 562 Mobile: 021 326261 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Assistant General Secretary: Russell Mayn Direct dial: 09 3034 652 Mobile: 021 760886 Email: email@example.com ITF Inspectorate: Kathy Whelan Direct dial: 04 8017 613 Mobile: 021 666405 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
One of the important roles of a Union is to develop the values and culture of its members. Those values include building awareness and education, or selfeducation, both on and off the job. It means giving workers the chance to develop their skills and confidence in becoming leaders and thinkers. This can be as small as taking responsibility for our health and safety on the job, or it can be as big as standing for election in the Union or taking part in a strike or industrial action. The Union also has to build a sense of solidarity in its members. As individuals, workers in our society are in many ways powerless when confronted by the power of business and capital (money). “Freedom” in our society is largely freedom for those with money. The writer Anatole France once wrote that “the law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread. “ By joining together in open, democratic and collective organizations such as unions, we gain a real say over many aspects of our life – especially at work. In the old days there was a slogan that was “agitate, educate and organize” which is just as relevant today as it was then. Our society is driven by values of self-interest, and the values of capitalism. These values are about putting yourself first and valuing money over people. Everytime we walk down the street or turn on the TV or radio we are bombarded by these messages. Union values are the opposite. Our values are solidarity, collectivism and democracy. As any one who has been on one of the picket lines where maritime workers have fought for their rights, these values are powerful, strong and enduring. But our union values are under constant assault. Unless we constantly keep up our organizing, educating and agitating, we will fail. Unless we are building and growing, we are going backwards. We need to make sure our regular stopwork meetings are well attended. We need to provide information and education to our members to allow them to get a Union perspective on events. We need to dump any sign of the passive, she’ll be right attitude and get an active, militant and conscious mentality. We need to ensure that rank and file members are encouraged to step up and become delegates and stand for election. We need to make sure that younger members especially are given opportunities to attend union events and become fully involved. It is no secret that many areas of the maritime industry have an ageing workforce. This means it is even more important to have younger members who have been trained and educated to take leadership roles in the Union, whether smaller or larger roles. There is room in the Union for all levels of contribution from all members. The goal of the Union must be to work towards workplaces and a society where working people are in the driving seat – where wellpaid, secure and safe jobs allow us all to enjoy freedom, not just a privileged few.
Communications Officer: Victor Billot Mobile: 021 482219 Fax: 03 4730 114 Address: PO Box 339, Dunedin Email: email@example.com
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A fighting Union is a winning Union by Trevor Hanson General Secretary
Amalgamation After a considerable period of negotiations, the amalgmation process between the Maritime Union and the Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU) has been called off. As reported in this issue of the Maritimes, the negotiations were brought to a halt in May 2007. The decision to call off negotiations was made by facilitator Paul Goulter. Paul was acting on the instructions of both parties to end negotiations if clear agreement was not reached by this time. Common agreement could not be met on several outstanding issues. No blame is attached and both Unions will continue to work together on issues of common interest. It is important to acknowledge the time and effort that went into negotiations. Paul Goulter regularly travelled back from his base in Australia as a senior official of the Australian Council of Trade Unions. His contribution was substantial and reflects on his personal commitment to unionism. Likewise meetings were also often attended by MUA Secretary Paddy Crumlin
“Leaving it to the free market has never worked for workers”
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who offered his time and experience to both Unions. Finally the negotiating teams from both the Maritime Union and the RMTU made every effort to work around the issues and must be thanked by all. The end of the amalgamation process means that we now need to concentrate on building our Union and ensuring that we are an active, well-organized and growing Union.
ITF The Maritime Union had three representatives attend the 2007 ITF Conference at Sorrento, Italy, as well as our New Zealand ITF co-ordinator Kathy Whelan. Maritime Union Vice President Garry Parsloe also attended a ITF – Maersk summit in Copenhagen. These ITF meetings are the major international forum for transport unions. We have a number of reports in this issue of the Maritimes about proceedings.
Port incidents I have reminded all our branches recently that there is a need for any incidents at ports to be reported to National Office. This could include injuries, unusual work patterns, unsafe conditions, crew doing waterfront work such as lashing and lines, and attempts to bring in casuals and labour hire to replace permanent workers. The Union is a national organization. We are only as strong as our weakest link and all branches (and members) have an obligation to the Union and their fellow workers to keep us informed of any practices and incidents in your port that are causing concern. We are only a phone call away.
The Budget The main focus of the budget was on Kiwisaver superannuation and corporate tax cuts. We have dealt with the Kiwisaver issue earlier in this column, so should start here by saying the corporate tax cuts were wrong. Simply put, this cut means that the money required for social spending will no longer be available, while the tax burden on workers remains the same. This certainly means more profit, little of which will go to workers, especially those who need it most. It will instead go to shareholders and the top crust of managers and executives. Another worry is that with so much of our economy now in overseas ownership, we’re giving tax cuts to the wealthy classes of Australia, the USA, Asia and Europe. Any tax cut considered at this time should have gone to relieving the less well
off workers, perhaps by reducing or eliminating the income tax on the first $5000 or $10000 of income. This certainly wouldn’t have harmed business, as most of the people in this income group would use the extra money to buy the basics, in the local economy. Another option would be a capital gains tax which would serve the dual purpose of cooling the housing market and gaining extra revenue from what is in many cases simple speculation. The extra funding to help low paid workers was a plus, but what about the low paid workers in the private sector? This is a pressing issue, and one that is at the centre of the casualization review currently being done by the Government. There were some bonuses in social development such as education, housing, health and infrastructure including rail. As has been noted by NDU Secretary Laila Harre, our high-interest/high-exchange rate vice keeps imports cheap, threaten local export and import-substitution jobs, and keep the hot money flowing in. Our balance of payments deficit is enormous, and our national debt continues to rise. There is the sense that as a society we are essentially under threat from global business which continually pressures and threatens to remove themselves or outsource production to cheap labour countries. I do not think that relying completely on high-tech “niche” design work will solve our problems. Obviously technology and advanced techniques need to be adopted, but without developing the ‘bottom end’ of the economy, there will be a growing economic and social divide. We need to maintain the skills and ability to produce locally, maintain a manufacturing sector, and provide good quality jobs for all citizens through a planned and long term economic development strategy. “Leaving it to the free market” has never worked for workers. This makes it all the more important to have an organized movement of people who actually are the citizens and workers of the world, to apply pressure back to Governments and corporates, and to develop alternative ways of thinking. Activist unions such as the Maritime Union of New Zealand have a leading role to play here, by defending and advancing the economic, political and social interests of workers.
Working for secure and safe jobs by Phil Adams National President
Executive meeting The National Executive of the Maritime Union met in Wellington from 7–10 May 2007. This regular meeting takes place twice a year and is where the Union comes together to discuss business and deal with the issues that we face. It was good to see a number of rank and file observers attending from branches around New Zealand, both younger members of the Union and those who have been loyal members for many years. I believe that this needs to be encouraged as it gives the members who attend a good understanding of how the Union operates as a national, collective organization. It is part of the education process and it’s important to encourage and develop younger members who are our future officials and delegates. Some interesting ideas for education and recruitment were put forward at the meeting, including the possibility of creating a short DVD introducing the Union and our work to new and potential members. The Union also has induction packs available for new members, which a number of branches have taken advantage of. These packs contain introductory material including a leaflet and union history, magazine, stickers and badge, and any local material branches wish to add. I encourage all branches to purchase an appropriate number for their own use – they are available from the Communications Officer (contact details on page 3.)
Retirement savings and Kiwisaver The issues of retirement savings has been in the news recently with the Budget announcements around Kiwisaver. This issue of the Maritimes has information on how Kiwisaver will affect our members, and how it will relate to the currently existing Waterfront Industry Superannuation Fund and Seafarers Retirement Fund. While the compulsory employer contributions to Kiwisaver are a positive for workers, there is some concern about the long term effect of the scheme. The concern is that there will still be people, probably low income people, who don’t enjoy the full benefits of such schemes. This could mean that there will be added pressure on the standard superannuation we have now. Workplace super schemes such as Kiwisaver should not be replacing superannuation, but supplementing it. www.munz.org.nz
Self-loading The Maritime Union recently had to step in when a incident of crew unlashing aboard the vessel Buzzard Bay came to our attention. This vessel had no ITF agreement for crew. A delegation including Gary Parsloe, Phil Spanswick and members of the Union delivered a message to the Captain at Mount Maunganui, which gained some coverage and we believe was an effective exercise. Any incidents involving crew doing work that should be done by union members must be reported and resisted. Once bad practices become established they are almost impossible to wipe out. There was another incident at Dunedin recently where crew aboard the fishing vessel Melilla were instructed to do waterfront work. Fortunately our delegate Noel Currie intervened and contacted me, and the Union followed up the issue. As a result of this, the work remains with our local workers.
Ports There has been ongoing rumours in the industry about port ownership and port rationalization. The relationship between Ports of Auckland and Ports of Tauranga continues to be up in the air, and how this situation plays out will have major implications for both these large size ports and New Zealand as a whole. There has also been suggestions that Maersk may be looking at buying into New Zealand ports, although this has been denied. The Union stance on these matters is that our ports and maritime industry are too important to be left to the short-term commercial interests of global corporates. New Zealand needs to have a ports policy. Our ports should remain under the control of the local communities they serve. Any restructuring of ports should be managed in a way that minimizes disruption to the economy and most importantly to workers and communities. On this matter, local body elections are coming up in October. Union members should remember that in many cases their employers are companies owned by local Government, including regional, district and city councils. This is our chance to support candidates who are committed to public ownership, local control and workers rights.
use is a concern. We note there is growing pressure to stop its use and come up with safer alternatives. This issue of the Maritimes has an article from a senior scientist at the University of Canterbury who argues it is a real possibility that Methyl Bromide could be linked to the incidence of motor neuron disease at the Port of Nelson. This contradicts the official Nelson “cluster study” that claimed no link. This is an area where mistakes could mean more illness and death.
Casualization Report The Government has appointed former CTU economist Peter Harris to carry out the investigation into casualization that was announced at our 2006 Conference. We are working alongside Mr Harris and have already met with him to provide an overview of the maritime industry. Department of Labour officials took notes at our May 2007 National executive meeting during a special discussion of casualization in our industry. We are certain that the impact of casualization is serious, both in our industry and in the wider workforce, and are pleased that the Government together with MP Peter Brown have delivered on this. However any research will need to be backed by action.
“It’s important to encourage and develop younger members who are our future officials and delegates”
Methyl Bromide The Methyl Bromide issue is not going away. Many union members work alongside this toxic fumigant and its continued The Maritimes | June/July 2007 | 5
Dockers give global backing to Guatemala fight Representatives from around 50 port unions at the ITF worldwide meeting in Sorrento, Italy enthusiastically backed the Pedro Zamora campaign on 19 March, after hearing from threatened STEPQ board member Oscar Gonzalez. Gonzalez, together with other STEPQ board members and their families, has himself been issued with death threats since the union’s general secretary Pedro Zamora was murdered on 15 January in a violent attack that was directly linked to the union’s opposition to port privatisation. There have been 15,000 murders in Guatemala in the last three years – with very few perpetrators ever being punished, Gonzalez explained.
The ‘Pasha Bulker’ aground at Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia, June 2007
Newcastle grounding waiting to happen The Panamanian flagged ‘Pasha Bulker’ ran ashore on 8 June 2007 at Nobby’s Head, Newcastle, Australia. The 76,741 tonne deadweight Panamax bulk carrier was driven against the beach by high seas while waiting to load coal at Newcastle. There are major concerns about the leakage of fuel from the stricken vessel. Attempts to refloat the vessel are expected to be made at the end of June as part of a major salvage operation. Concerns about the conditions of Flag of Convenience ships off the port of Newcastle have been consistently ignored in recent years, the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) said today. ITF national coordinator Dean Summers said the immediate focus of the ITF was
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ensuring the crew members were safely taken off the vessel. He said ships register in nations like Panama to avoid tax and regulatory requirements as well as bypassing local labour and health and safety laws. “The ITF has raised concerns about the state of Flag of Convenience ships off Newcastle over the past five years - including the underpayment and mistreatment of foreign crews.” He said an incident like this grounding had been waiting to happen, and raised questions about the Howard Government’s active encouragement of Flag of Convenience shipping at the expense of the Australian maritime industry. For more information, see www.mua.org.au
The victims are not just trade unionists – they are peasants’ leaders, human rights workers – anyone, in fact, who wants the war-torn country to change. Meanwhile, the government wanted to profit from selling off state-owned resources, and capital was benefiting from international trade treaties. STEPQ was determined to continue the fight. “We have broken hearts – but we go forward with courage, ideas and with the support of all of you” he told dockers’ delegates. The meeting promised strong backing for the campaign, signing a Solidarity Declaration.
More information and a video download are available at: http://www.itfglobal.org/campaigns/zamora. cfm
Horrific death of 39 Burmese fishers on Thai fleet The International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) has targeted the “ruthless exploitation of migrant workers” following the death of 39 Burmese fishers on board a Thai fishing fleet in Indonesian waters. They had been left without fresh food and water for 75 days. It is alleged that the owner and captain ordered their bodies to be thrown overboard. In April 2007 the ITF expressed grave concern over the horrific death of the fishers working on six trawlers in Indonesian waters. They had no access to supplies while they were waiting for their permits to be renewed. Relatives of the dead fishers and survivors began legal action on 26 March in an effort to win justice. One of the survivors, Soe Moe, stated in the court in Mahachai, Thailand: “There was no food, no vegetables, just smelly rice, and there were dead bodies close to me.”
“I was afraid but I didn’t know what to do or whether I was going to die because at the time I was so weak I couldn’t even walk.” The ITF stated it hoped that the court case would expose this modern form of slave labour and lead to criminal charges. The statement also referred to the continuing plight of Burmese fishers who were discharged without travel documents from their Thai-flagged vessels in Tual, Indonesia. Although settled in the region, their lack of refugee status makes them vulnerable to extortion by local security firms and immigration officers. The ITF has therefore urged the Indonesian government to grant them refugee status.
More information and a video download are available at: http://www.itfglobal.org/fisheries/index.cfm
Union attacks cash bounties for missing crew The Maritime Union says offering cash bounties for missing overseas fishing crew members is extremely dangerous and of dubious legality. Maritime Union General Secretary Trevor Hanson says he is concerned about a new trend that has private operators fronting up big money to track down missing crew members. An advertisement placed in the Otago Daily Times today offers an $1000 bounty for information about missing crew member Kismo Pakistan who left his vessel the FV Oyang 70 in Dunedin on 5 June 2007. The contact listed in the advertisement was Fisheries Consultancy Limited of Lyttelton and the advertisement was authorized by Southern Storm Fishing (2007) Limited of Christchurch. Mr Hanson says having a cash bounty would encourage criminal and unsavoury elements to get involved, endangering both the missing fisherman and anyone who happens to look like him.
“The potential for standover tactics, exploitation and abuse is substantial.” He says that if individuals have left ships and are in breach of their work visa, then it was the job of Government authorities to locate the missing individuals. “It is not the job of fishing companies to act as the Sheriff, Judge, Jury and Executioner - we are not in the Wild West.” He says shipjumping crew are not bad people. “There are many reasons that foreign fishermen jump ship, in some cases it is because they want a better life, they may be breaking the law but they must be treated as human beings and we should remember that many people who came to New Zealand were doing exactly the same thing.” He says the sad thing is the amount of money that is being offered for a reward would seem like a fortune for young, impoverished fishing crews from the Third World. Mr Hanson says that there is a widely acknowledged international problem with fishing crews being mistreated and underpaid. “We don’t want any of these practices to become established in New Zealand waters, and we know that in the past there have been a number of incidents that have led to Government action.” “We thought that moves by the Government to tighten up on bad practices in the industry last year would have pulled a few horns in, but it seems that certain players want to continue to push the boundaries.” Mr Hanson says the Maritime Union says that fishing companies in New Zealand waters should be made to employ New Zealanders on decent wages. He says that if any overseas crews are used they should be on the same terms and conditions as New Zealand workers.
Former union leader William ‘Pincher’ Martin dies Former seafarers leader William (Pincher) Martin died on 12 June 2007 in Lyttelton. He was 83 years old. William Martin joined the Seaman’s Union as a boy in Dunedin on 1 October 1939. In 1960, he was elected to the executive of the union and became vice-president of the Union 14 months later. In 1964, 41-year-old Bill ‘Pincher’ Martin was elected president of the union, succeeding Fintan Patrick Walsh who had died in office.
He served as National President of the New Zealand Seamen’s Union 1964 to 1973 when he resigned. He was the Wellington Branch National Councillor for the Union until his retirement in 1985. A full obituary will be published in the next edition of the Maritimes.
Council of Trade Unions holds elections The Council of Trade Unions today opened nominations on May 24 for the four elected positions within the organisation, President, Vice President, Vice President Maori and SecretaryTreasurer. The current four-year terms all expire at the CTU biennial conference later this year.
Nominations were opened today by the CTU’s National Affiliates Council and will close on Friday July 6. The CTU’s biennial conference is on 15-17 October 2007. Current CTU president Ross Wilson is not seeking re-election. More information at www.union.org.nz
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Sacked over a fizzy drink
Workers at the Favona Road distribution centre in Auckland show their support for Filipino workers, 30 May, 2007 (photo by Simon Oosterman)
Filipino workers leader offered solidarity in New Zealand Supermarket distribution workers in Auckland walked off the job on 30 May in support of a Filipino trade unionist who had just learnt that his life or freedom is at risk for protesting against the Filipino President in New Zealand. Filipino trade union leader and spokesperson of the “Free Ka Bel Movement” Dennis Maga was calling his one year old son Elijah to say happy birthday when he learnt that his house was under surveillance by police and that he faced arrest on his return to the Phillipines. Mr Maga was invited by the National Distribution Union and Unite Union to talk to workers about the repression and killings of trade unionists, journalists and church leaders by the Filipino military and police. His visit coincided with a visit by the Filipino President Gloria Arroyo.
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Two-hundred previously locked out NDU Progressive distribution workers gave Mr Maga a standing ovation and walked out to mount a spontaneous show of solidarity on the same spot where they held their pickets last year. NDU site delegate Daniel Patea said that Filipino workers and unions had supported the locked out workers. “Filipino workers helped us when we struggled during our lockout last year and so giving support to Dennis who faces arrest and even assassination is the least we could do.” Shortly before the Maritimes went to print, it was announced that Phillipines Congressman Crispin “Ka Bel” Beltran is now free in the Phillipines after 15 months of detention. However Dennis Maga has gone into hiding after charges of “embarassing the president” were laid against him.
For more information, see www.ndu.org. nz and http://freekabelmovement.blogspot. com/
Coroner reappointment welcomed The Maritime Union of New Zealand has welcomed the appointment of Garry Evans to a post of fulltime relief coroner in Wellington. The Maritime Union was among the many groups and individuals who registered their concern when Mr Evans was replaced during changes to the coroner system in New Zealand. Mr Evans had initially declined the offer of appointment as a Relief Coroner but following the overwhelming public support he has become aware of, has agreed to the new appointment to give him a further opportunity to serve the community. Maritime Union General Secretary Trevor Hanson says the Union has worked alongside Mr Evans going back at least 40 year and paid tribute to his long service. Mr Hanson says Mr Evans has assisted thousands of citizens, mostly from working class backgrounds, who struggled with the complexities of legislation.
A confidential settlement has been reached between a Dunedin fastfood worker fired for sharing a drink with a friend and the company involved. Autonomous Workers Union Organiser Bill Clark said a settlement was negotiated during confidential mediation in May between ex-Subway worker Jackie Lang and Galcol Ltd, which owns Subway George Street in Dunedin. Ms Lang was fired from her full-time job and charged with theft after she shared a cup of Diet Coke while consoling an upset friend during a break. However, Police used their discretion to drop the criminal charges against her on May 10. Subway allows free soda and water to staff who are working. A number of protest actions were organized against Subway during the dispute including an online petition. More coverage at http://indymedia.org. nz/feature/display/71660/index.php
All Whites join CTU The New Zealand Professional Footballers’ Association attended its first meeting of the CTU National Affiliates Council in Wellington on 29 May 2007. “I am delighted that the union for All Whites has seen the value in working with other unions at a national level,” says Council of Trade Unions president Ross Wilson. The Professional Footballers’ join a number of other unions who have joined the CTU in the last year, including the Aviation & Marine Engineers Association, the Midwifery Representation and Advisory Services, the Tramways and Public Transport Union (Auckland) and TUIA union at Te Wananga o Aotearoa. More information about the Association is at http://www.nzpfa.co.nz
and YOU What is KiwiSaver?
KiwiSaver is a new voluntary work-based savings scheme, partly administered by Inland Revenue. From 1 July 2007, all eligible new employees aged between 18 and 65 will be automatically enrolled in KiwiSaver. But you can opt out at no cost. Anyone else who is under 65 and who is eligible can also join by ‘opting in’ through their employer or contacting a scheme provider directly. With KiwiSaver, your savings come directly out of your pay and are locked in until you’ve reached the age of eligibility for NZ Superannuation (currently 65) or have been with KiwiSaver for five years - whichever is later. You can contribute either 4% or 8% of your before tax wages to KiwiSaver. Everyone who joins KiwiSaver will get a once-only $1,000 tax-free ‘kick start’ to their savings account, a tax credit matching their contributions of up to $20 per week and a fee subsidy.
How can I find out more? For more information about KiwiSaver visit the website
What are the key features of KiwiSaver?
• your employer will be required to provide access to an approved KiwiSaver product, unless they have an existing scheme that qualifies as an exempt scheme • new employees between the ages of 18 and 65 will be automatically enrolled but can opt out within 8 weeks of joining • existing employees can choose to join KiwiSaver • you can make contributions at either 4% or 8% of your before tax wages • contribution holidays of up to 5 years at a time are allowed after an initial contribution period of 12 months • from 1 April 2008 your employer will be required to pay matching contributions of 1% to your KiwiSaver account. Your employer’s contributions will increase by 1% each year until they reach a maximum of 4% (at 1 April 2011). Contributions to an existing superannuation scheme will meet this obligation. • your employer can choose to contribute any amount over and above these minimum requirements to your KiwiSaver account. Employer contributions in amounts that match yours will be tax-free up to a limit of 4% of your before tax pay. • contributions will initially be paid to the IRD which will forward them to the selected KiwiSaver provider • your savings will be locked in until your age of eligibility for NZ Superannuation (currently 65) or 5 years after the first contribution is received, whichever is later.
There are limited circumstances when you can make an early withdrawal e.g. on permanent emigration, for a first home purchase, extreme financial hardship or serious illness. • you have a choice of KiwiSaver providers and investment options but will be allocated to a default option if you do not make a choice • you can transfer between KiwiSaver products but can only have one KiwiSaver account at a time • the government will: • make a tax free ‘kick start’ contribution of $1,000 to your account • pay a tax credit which matches your contributions up to a maximum of $20 per week • pay a contribution towards your account fees of $40 each year. • the government may give you another $1,000 for every year you contribute to KiwiSaver (minimum 3 years or $3,000, maximum 5 years or $5,000) to go towards a deposit for your first home. This will depend on your household income and the price of the home, with the limits still to be set. • after paying in for 12 months you may be able to divert up to half of your future contributions (but not any money your employer contributes) to mortgage payments on your main home. That’s if both your scheme provider and mortgagor offer this option.
How valuable are the government incentives?
The actuarial firm of Melville Jessup Weaver has calculated the following increases in savings from KiwiSaver over and above current schemes.
This will lead you through some of the decisions you need to make as to whether or not KiwiSaver is right for you. If you belong to one of the industry schemes you can expect to receive more information from them later this month.
These figures are based on investment returns of 6.0% p.a. and wage increases of 2.5% p.a.
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Maersk Mykonos at Bremerhaven, 2006 Photo by doclecter, licensed under GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2
Fronting up to Maersk by Garry Parsloe National Vice President The second Maersk Network Meeting was held in Copenhagen on 23–24 April 2007. Since the first meeting we have been gathering information concerning labour standards in the global operations of Maersk, including major contractors and chartered operations, in any of its ships, port, road, rail or aviation activities since January 2005. For the purpose of this survey we wanted to focus on any incidents, which may involve any failure to recognize Collective Bargaining rights, the right to join a Trade Union, serious discrimination against Union representatives or obstruction of attempts to organise a Union or to conduct legitimate Trade Union business. For the above reasons the key agenda items were: • a review of Network activities and adhoc Steering Committees • reports from affiliates • global labour standards • The Global Corporate Strategy – a presentation by Maersk Management • Work programme 2007–2008
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The ad-hoc Steering Committee had contacted Maersk Senior Management and started talks with them in January 2007 on global labour standards. The Committee invited the Company to make a presentation to the Maersk Network meeting on the Company’s Global Corporate strategy during this meeting. The ITF is developing a Maersk Network website where research and information on the Company will be located. A researcher is being funded to provide research on the Company which will be fed into this website. The MUA in Australia is cooperating with the Network on the development of a corporate database to further assist the process of mapping the Company. Day one opened with MUA National Secretary Paddy Crumlin who gave an overview showing the problems with Maersk’s dominance of the global maritime industry. Danish unionist Henrik Berlau gave a presentation on Maersk’s operations in both their Shipping and Port operations. Henrik went on to talk about Maersk’s dominance of Port facilities all over the World and how this monopoly impacts on dockers wages and conditions.
The next speaker was Ron Carver, of the Teamsters (USA.) Ron reported on the progress that the ITF has made since the Durban Congress last year. He spoke about how Maersk adopts an iron fist approach to drivers and other Transport workers in the United States of America. Ron concluded by stating that over time Maersk has come around to being a lot easier to work with. After Ron we had an address from ITF Assistant General Secretary Stuart Howard. Stuart spoke about the Maersk Network – what it is and what it isn’t. He then spoke about core issues for global dialogue.
Trainees in New Zealand On the afternoon of day one, I went to Maersk’s Head Office and had a meeting with Vice President Bjarne Foldager, Fleet Manager and General Manager Anthony Randell, and Vice President Anders Nielson to discuss the introduction of trainees into the Maersk Fleet in New Zealand waters.
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MAERSK REPORT [continued from previous page]
Our Union’s position has been consistent regarding trainees and I made Maersk aware that they have a social and corporate responsibility to the youth of New Zealand. Maersk trades in and out of New Zealand. They source their profits out of New Zealand and we demand nothing less than an intake of trainees into Maersk. Maersk accepted our position and whilst I did not get an agreement regarding some trainees into Maersk, I did get an assurance that they would respond in some form as to how they will deliver on their social responsibility. I believe they will offer some sort of assistance in this area. We eagerly await Maersk’s response. On the later part of day one we went in working groups to discuss the Unions relationship with Maersk and what Unions want from Maersk. Also in this workshop we looked at how the Maersk Network supports these goals. Day two started with a presentation by Maersk’s representatives on their Global Corporate strategy. Maersk Executive Vice President Knud Pontoppindan started the presentation with a bit of an overview, then Maersk showed a video of Maersk’s World wide activities. After the video Knud Pontoppindan expanded on Maersk’s history, organisation, structure, APM terminals, Shipping, Shipbuilding and oil and gas activities. When Knud finished his presentation we set aside time for a session where all the Unions could put questions to Knud. This session was very productive as it gave an opportunity for all those Unions that wished a platform to get their point across. All in all it was a most productive meeting and I will report again from any of the follow up meetings.
What is the Maersk Network? The Maersk Network is a network of trade unions from countries around the world who have members employed with A.P. Moller-Maersk. A.P. Moller-Maersk is a transnational company with activities in a number of sectors, especially container activities and shipping, energy, offshore, retail and industry. Maersk is the world’s biggest container company and is set to be one of the winners of corporate globalisation. Maersk has a great responsibility for securing fundamental labour rights of the people working - directly or indirectly - for the company. MaerskUnions.org is a website of information about Maersk’s activities and working conditions around the world, seen from the employees’ point of view. The purpose is to achieve more knowledge about the conditions at Maersk and to strengthen the bonds between workers and trade unions throughout the company’s operations.
About A.P. Moller-Maersk A.P. Moller-Maersk is the world’s largest transport corporation. The company is headquartered in Copenhagen, Denmark. A.P. Moller-Maersk has more than 110,000 employees worldwide and offices in over 125 countries. Maersk Line is the global leader in container shipping and APM Terminals is the second largest port terminal operator in the world.
Business areas A.P. Moller-Maersk is mainly engaged in: Container shipping and related activities Tankers, offshore and other shipping activities Oil and gas activities Retail activity Containers
Shipping Maersk operates more than 550 container vessels. Maersk Line has been expanding in recent years, most notably by taking over the Dutch company P&O Nedlloyd. It is now by far the largest container line in the world.
Ports A.P. Moller-Maersk has expanded heavily with buying, extending and optimizing port terminals worldwide. APM Terminals was established in 2001 and has grown 20 % annually. It operates in more than 45 ports.
Oil and gas Maersk Olie og Gas has production activities in Denmark, United Kingdom, Qatar, Algeria and Kazakhstan and exploration activities on four continents.
Retail Maersk owns and runs supermarkets and hypermarkets in Denmark, Germany, United Kingdom, Poland and Sweden under the brand names Netto, Føtex and Bilka.
Money The company cash flow amounts to US$7 billion. A.P. Moller-Maersk is worth an estimated US$41 billion. The A.P. Moller-Maersk share is no. 15 on the list of the most expensive shares in the world. Information sourced from the International Transport Workers Federation website www.maerskunions.org
“Maersk trades in and out of New Zealand. They source their profits out of New Zealand and we demand nothing less than an intake of trainees into Maersk” www.munz.org.nz
The Maritimes | June/July 2007 | 11
New Zealand represented at ITF world meeting by Garry Parsloe National Vice President On the third week of March 2007, the International Transport Workers Federation met in Sorrento, Italy. The agenda included meetings of the Dockers section and Seafarers section, along with a the Ports of Convenience campaign, Fair Practice Committee and Steering Group meetings, and meetings for the ITF coordinators.
Seafarers Section At the Seafarers section meeting we had an address from the host country which gave an overview of Seafarers issues in Italy. Shipping in Italy is healthy with seven new ships coming on stream and very little unemployment. The Cruise Ship industry is growing bigger every year which is having a huge input into Italy’s economy. One of the major problems in Italy is the question of access to visit foreign seafarers onboard their vessels. This is almost impossible and along with difficulties in some cases of shore leave for those foreign Seafarers, there needs to be some work done in this area. There was a report on progress around medical examinations of seafarers and the related costs that are attached to these examinations. We had several presentations around seafarers wages and how these wages should be increased. Contractual claims were discussed at length with a general consensus of how these claims should be handled. We also discussed issues regarding the repatriation of seafarers, hours of labour, levels of overtime that need to be made available, and training.
Fair Practices Committee The Fair Practices Committee meeting opened with a minute’s silence for Pedro Zamora, the Guatemalan Trade Unionist who was murdered because of his struggle to fight for the improvement of workers rights in Guatemala. The Conference then addressed recommendations on ITF benchmarks. The FPC Steering Group noted that there were still affiliates who were struggling to implement the USDI550 Benchmark and therefore careful consideration would need to be given to any wage increase. There was a chart that highlighted possible percentage increases ranging from a 15% increase down to 1%. After a lengthy discussion the recommendation from the Steering Group that a rate will be negotiated at the International Bargaining Forum (IBF) negotiations and that rate to be released after that meeting was endorsed.
Recommendation from FPC Steering Group on IBF Negotiations There was a mandate for the Joint Negotiating Group (JNG) to amend the IBF International Agreement and the following five annexes following the negotiations. Annex 1 – Framework TCC Agreement. Annex 2 – Shipboard Disputes Procedure – IBF members. Annex 3 – Total crew methodology. Annex 4 – List of IBF membership entitlements. Annex 5 – IBF Special Agreement The Conference had a report on the Seafarers International Assistance, Welfare and Protection Fund. The Fund itself is in very good health. We also had an Inspectorate Audits Report and a National Flag Working Group Report.
The Fair Practices Committee meeting then discussed at length the Work Programme for 2007–2010. The final session covered the policy on replacing ITF Inspectors, the prevention of social dumping in North European waters, an update from the Seafarers’ Section and the Dockers’ Section meetings, and ITF Campaign Targets. Just before the Conference closed the meeting again stood for a minute’s silence. This time for a docker who was killed whilst working on the Melbourne Docks. This was the forth docker killed on the Australian Waterfront this year. As Paddy Crumlin stated this is totally unacceptable. Every docker in Australia stopped work for two hours whilst the funeral was taking place, as a mark of respect, and also to send a message that every worker must have a safe working place to work in.
International delegates at the ITF Sorrento meeting, March 2007 From left RMT (UK) Seafarers Secretary Stevie Todd, Maritime Union Vice President Garry Parsloe, Maritime Union of New Zealand Assistant General Secretary Russell Mayn, New Zealand ITF Co-ordinator Kathy Whelan, Maritime Union of Australia Assistant National Secretary Rick Newlyn, Maritime Union of New Zealand advisor Terry Ryan 12 | The Maritimes | June/July 2007
What is International the Fair Bargaining Practices Forum (IBF) Committee?
Trans Tasman Unions meet with Sea–Tow
The Fair Practices Committee (FPC) is an ITF body, comprising seafarer and docker trade union representatives worldwide. The FPC manages the FOC (flags of convenience) campaign policy and oversees ITF minimum collective agreements for seafarers which ensure decent salaries and conditions for FOC seafarers, thus helping to prevent unfair wage-based competition, which contributes to the tendency for vessels to be flagged out. The FPC is the forum where ITF affiliates from developed countries, which tend to own FOC vessels but whose members’ job opportunities are declining, and unions from developing countries – often labour supplying countries – adopt common policies. The key policy for seafarers internationally is to stay unionised and resist the tendency for shipowners to displace national crews in order to reduce labour costs, and replace them with exploited, stateless FOC crews. FOC ship owners and those who charter their vessels know that, by not having an ITF-approved Collective Agreement in place, they risk industrial and other forms of action in many of the world’s ports. Some less respectable operators are ready to take this risk although the majority are not. The very existence of the minimum ITF conditions over the years has meant that many ship owners now offer better employment than that which would have existed if the free market were the only factor involved. In the shipping industry, where disreputable ship owners get rich by exploiting the expanding global maritime labour market, the ITF exists to guarantee a balance.
On 6 March 2007, the Maritime Union of Australia and Maritime Union of New Zealand held our second joint meeting with Sea-Tow in Sydney, Australia. The first meeting was on 3 January 2007. The issue was Sea-Tow’s involvement on the Australian Coast, the wage rates, employer contracts and crewing. In attendance at the second meeting was Assistant National Secretary MUA Mick Doleman, Assistant National Secretary MUA Rick Newlyn, Western Australia Secretary MUA Chris Cain, Sea-Tow New Zealand Director Peter Dunlop, Ian Ives of INCO and myself Garry Parsloe of MUNZ.
The IBF consists of the ITF and the Joint Negotiating Group (JNG), which is an employers group made up of a number of ship management and ship owner associations. The IBF agreement arising from negotiations in this forum is the newest of the ITF agreements covering seafarers. Like other ITF agreements relating to seafarers, the IBF agreement includes a cargo handling clause. The Dockers Section has a number of representatives in the IBF negotiations. In the last round of negotiations, the IBF acknowledged the right of dockworkers to participate in union activities and to be protected against acts of anti-union discrimination, consistent with protections provided by ILO Conventions 87 on freedom of association and 98 on collective bargaining. Consistent with the understanding and intent agreed between the parties, JNG members will recommend to their principals that they should not use stevedoring services that do not comply with the terms of these Conventions for their employees. More information at www.itfglobal.org
by Garry Parsloe National Vice President
The MUA pointed out the requirements to work in the Australian offshore. There was discussion about the type and size of the tug, along with the crewing, and what areas Sea-Tow would be suited for. After some discussion the meeting took a break so the MUA and MUNZ could determine our position in the best interest of our members. Discussions continued without Ian Ives who had been asked to leave the meeting. The parties then reached an understanding around a Heads of Agreement and a Composite Agreement between Sea-Tow, MUA and MUNZ. There will need to be another meeting to fine tune the Agreement and I will give a further update after that meeting.
“The key policy for seafarers internationally is to stay unionised and resist the tendency for shipowners to displace national crews in order to reduce labour costs, and replace them with exploited, stateless FOC crews”
More information at www.itfglobal.org
The Maritimes | June/July 2007 | 13
Photo by Greg O’Beirne. This file is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5/
Christchurch Council Unrepentant On Thwarted Lyttelton Port Sale by Murray Horton The magazine Foreign Control Watchdog ran a very detailed cover story in August 2006 on the successful campaign to stop the Christchurch City Council from selling off the Lyttelton Port Company (LPC) to Hutchison Port Holdings of Hong Kong. I’m pleased to report that the proposed sell off is dead in the water, with even its most gungho proponents having finally faced that reality. But that doesn’t mean that either the Council or Christchurch City Holdings Limited (CCHL, the holding company for the Council’s assets) are prepared to admit that they were wrong, let alone abandon plans (dreams?) of selling the Port Company. In July 2006, the Keep Our Port Public coalition (KOPP, of which CAFCA was a founder and key member) presented the Council with a 2,888 signature petition calling upon it not to allow any sales of any shares it owns directly or indirectly in LPC to Hutchison or any other overseas or NZ company, and calling upon the Council to commit to keeping LPC in 100% public ownership. The Mayor, Garry Moore, refused KOPP permission to present it to a full Council meeting, so it was handed over in a committee room to two
14 | The Maritimes | June/July 2007
sympathetic Councillors, one of whom presented it to a full Council meeting. The Mayor also refused her permission to speak to the petition when she presented it. To demonstrate its contempt for democracy, the Council then sent our petition to CCHL (the Mayor had originally suggested that we present it to LPC). It was addressed to the elected Council, not to the unelected CCHL (or to the equally unelected LPC, for that matter). Nonetheless, CCHL rejected it, recommending that the Council take no further action. The reasons given were: “The Council has never owned 100% of LPC so it cannot commit to keeping something it does not have; the Council should not commit itself to a course of action that could work against the public good in the long run; further circumstances might make a change of ownership for LPC an imperative to ensuring that Lyttelton can continue to be an active port serving the local economy; it is difficult to anticipate what the future might bring in a rapidly changing port and shipping industry and it would be unwise to make a philosophical commitment to an ownership regime which could work against the main reason that the Council is
involved with the port ownership – to ensure that there is a viable and effective port facility for the region; there are safeguards in the Council’s list of strategic assets which prevent loss of control of LPC without public consultation; any future proposals for changed ownership of LPC should be judged on their merits” (Christchurch City Holdings Ltd, Christchurch City Council agenda, 7/9/06). These grounds are palpable nonsense and in the case of the one about public consultation, an outright lie. That was good enough for the Auditor-General who, in December 2006, pronounced himself satisfied with the Council’s behaviour in the entire matter, including public “consultation’, and rejected KOPP’s very detailed complaint. Christchurch was stymied in its attempt to flog off the LPC, thanks to the Port of Otago which bought a blocking stake of shares to prevent the sale. This meant that, after months of publicly badmouthing Otago, Christchurch had to go behind closed doors to talk to Otago about the future of the port company whose ownership they now share, with a merger being one possibility. Hopefully, sense will prevail and Christchurch’s born again privatisation zealots will actually decide that the best future
of the LPC lies in cooperating with its fellow South Island ports, not being used as pawns by giant port and shipping transnationals to play off one against the other. But we have no reason to trust either the Council or CCHL – in March 2007 the Council approved CCHL’s proposal to create five new shelf companies. Why? Because that is the quick and easy way to flog something off. Transfer its ownership to the shelf company and wave it goodbye. A 2006 paper, aimed at potential foreign investors, entitled “Doing Business In New Zealand” by major law firm Simpson Grierson puts it most succinctly: “Where speed is of the essence, a shelf company will normally be acquired”. Exactly.
Kowtowing To The Shipping Companies The original justification for this whole tragic-comic exercise was that the shipping companies hold too much power and that LPC needed to be flogged off in order to put it on a better footing with them.
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CTU [continued from previous page]
There is an obvious contradiction that the Council doesn’t seem to grasp – how can selling your publicly owned asset to one huge transnational make it any better off in its dealings with other huge transnationals?. The power of the shipping companies is very real and not to be sneezed at. All port companies held their breath in mid 2006 when Maersk of Denmark, the world’s biggest container shipping line, announced that it would review its relationship with every NZ port. It was widely predicted that this would lead to hubbing, i.e. that Maersk would announce that it would deal with only one port in each island and that all cargo would have to be transported to and from that hub, with the rejected ports withering and dying. In November 2006 Maersk announced that it wasn’t adopting hubbing as such but it did decree that Auckland would henceforth be its main North Island port, to the great chagrin of Tauranga (whose sharemarket value immediately slumped $65 million). Lyttelton becomes part of a feeder service to and from Auckland, Tauranga, Nelson and Wellington. In April 2007 Maersk went further and announced that it is interested in buying port terminals in NZ. This is a reminder that, due to stupid past political decisions such as killing off NZ’s own shipping line and allowing foreign shippers to work NZ’s domestic waters, the transnational shipping companies have been allowed to amass huge power over the
vital trade lines of an isolated island nation, the power to decree commercial life or death to each and every port in the country. Port companies, local councils and the Government need to work together in the national interest to keep New Zealand’s ports alive and thriving, serving the best interests of their local communities and the nation. As far as Christchurch is concerned, this issue and the previously undisclosed privatisation agenda need to feature prominently at the 2007 local body elections. We need a Mayor and Council that are committed to public ownership of vital local assets. Two key figures behind that agenda have already announced their resignations – the Council’s Chief Executive Officer, Lesley McTurk, has “moved forward” (to use the current business cliché) to Wellington to bring her particular brand of restructuring to central government, having left a pile of human wreckage behind at the local government level, and Mayor Garry Moore has announced that he won’t be running again. That leaves the race for the Mayoralty wide open for the first time since Moore was first elected, in 1998. Christchurch voters need to ensure that the city and region gets elected representatives that actually serve their interests, not those of a transnational corporate agenda of privatisation and flogging off our assets. Murray Horton is spokesperson for Keep Our Port Public. For more information see www.keepourportpublic.org
“We need a Mayor and Council that are committed to public ownership of vital local assets”
Collectivity remains the best bet for workers
by Carol Beaumont CTU Secretary It’s no surprise that a large part of what we do as unions is to stand together for collective action and collective responses to the issues that workers face. In your industry, you organise collectively for respect and decent conditions for workers at sea and on the waterfront, and the CTU like MUNZ is looking forward to participating in the coming review of casualisation. In another sector, we have seen an ideological resistance to collectivity, from some providers in residential aged care. Nobody disagrees that we need to see urgent change in the appalling wage rates, high turnover and substandard training in aged care, but some of the companies in the industry have recently been bemoaning a requirement to offer a collective agreement to their workers, simply so workers can choose whether or not they want to be part of collective bargaining.
After years of underfunding and minimum wage rates, we said that collective bargaining provides the best opportunity and framework for addressing working conditions and chronic low wages for workers in that sector, and it was disappointing to see some political parties and business interests complaining about this approach. The CTU was pleased to stand alongside the retail unions in the campaign involving a number of churches and community groups to defeat the attempts to remove one of the last remaining non-trading days for retail workers, Easter Sunday. Thanks to a strong NDU led campaign supported by so many different groups, that initiative was defeated in Parliament last month. In a number of cases the need for collective responses is international, as is the case with your union and the important role you played in supporting locked out distribution workers last year - from the picket lines through to coordination of international support through International Transport Federation transport unions. The CTU has a strong international focus also, and at our May National Affiliates Council we were addressed by representatives of three union democracy campaigners – from Tonga, the Philippines and Burma, and union representatives extended their solidarity and practical support to these groups. Unions need to continue to stand up for collective action, and as we discussed recently at a seminar with Nicky Hager and others there is a strong link between union collective action and democracy, and when we look around the world at the institutions that disappear when democracy disappears, it’s usually unions that are at the front of the queue. For more information see www.union.org.nz
The Maritimes | June/July 2007 | 15
Self-loading stopped on ‘Buzzard Bay’ A delegation of Maritime Union members visited the vessel ‘Buzzard Bay’ at the Port of Tauranga on 15 June to deliver a message to the captain about practices aboard the ship. The ‘Buzzard Bay’ was trading without an International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) agreement that guarantees employment conditions are maintained at an acceptable internationally agreed level, and the health, welfare, social and human rights of crew are also protected. The overseas crew on the vessel have been unlashing cargo in New Zealand waters without permits. This work is normally done by New Zealand workers and is covered by New Zealand laws. Maritime Union General Secretary Trevor Hanson says that this will lead to job losses. “The problem is that there is no end point to the process, as work by overseas crews will inevitably come onshore if we allow this kind of thing to continue.”
Self-discharging incident in Dunedin
A self-discharging incident in Dunedin was nipped in the bud recently when Maritime Union delegate Noel Currie stepped in. The FV Melilla was discharging fish on the Leith Street wharf in May 2007 when Noel, who was working nearby, saw overseas crew setting up machinery to discharge the fish themselves. Noel alerted Branch Secretary Phil Adams and the Department of Labour were informed. Following negotiations with the agent, the work was returned to waterfront workers.
If there are any incidents of selfloading in your port, contact your Union branch or the national office immediately. 16 | The Maritimes | June/July 2007
New Zealand maritime workers offer support to Australian workers The Maritime Union of New Zealand gave its backing to the Maritime Union of Australia during the Port Kembla dispute. The Union sent a message of solidarity to the Australian workers and stated that if the vessel at the heart of the dispute the MV ‘Capo Noli’ enters any port in New Zealand, the dispute would be immediately extended to New Zealand. The Maltese flagged MV ‘Capo Noli’ was calling at Port Kembla loaded with Gypsum. Crew were told to discharge cargo using the ship’s cranes despite an international agreement that clearly states that dockers work, such as loading and unloading of ships, should not be done by seafarers. Maritime Union of New Zealand General Secretary Trevor Hanson says a national meeting of the Union on 15 June offered its full support to the Maritime Union of Australia through the Trans Tasman Federation.
Mr Hanson says that the issue is about stopping global companies from exploiting local and Third World workers. “Overseas crews are often paid very low wages, and if companies move them ashore their goal is to attack the wages and conditions and jobs of local workers. It is the sinister face of corporate globalization and we are going to fight it every step of the way.” Mr Hanson says the Maritime Union is very concerned about the movement of casual short term labour across borders to undercut wages and conditions using free trade agreements. He says the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) representing transport workers around the world is backing the Union stance against what it terms “self loading or self-discharging” by ships crews.
Container lashing incident on MSC Lara On 19 June 2007, crew on the vessel MSC Lara attempted to lash cargo on this vessel in Port Chalmers. On at least three occasions, Maritime Union members were told to leave them to it. It was only when Union members advised the ship would be stopped that they desisted. Union members contacted the union branch and national officials about the incident, which resulted in immediate action being taken. The MSC Lara was inspected by ITF co-ordinator Kathy Whelan while in Wellington earlier that week. It has an ITF agreement with the Dock Workers clause in it. Maritime Union General Secretary Trevor Hanson says it is obvious the crew on this vessel were told to lash by either the Skipper or a ships officer, and probably offered payment to do our work. He says hundreds of jobs are at stake. “We must ensure this work remains ours: failure to do so will cost either your job, or your mates at another Port. This work is definitely under attack not only by ship owners but by our own employers.”
ITF co-ordinator Kathy Whelan contacted ITF affiliate the National Union of Seafarers of India, who responded immediately by writing a letter to MSC management. NUSI General Secretary Abdulgani Y. Serang writes in reference to clause 4.1 (“The Dockers Clause”): “Neither ship’s crews nor anyone else on board whether in permanent or temporary employment by the company shall be required or induced to carry our cargo handling and other work traditionally or historically done by dock workers without the prior agreement of the ITF Dockers Union or Unions concerned and provided that the individual seafarers volunteer to carry out such duties, for which they should be adequately compensated.” Mr Serang advises that NUSI “take strong exception of the breach of agreement and wish to advise you [MSC] that no seafarer onboard any of your vessels should do cargo work without the prior agreement of the ITF Dockers Union.”
MUA victory at Port Kembla by Jenna Fletcher and Chris Williams On the evening of June 1, international shipping company Canada Steamship Lines (CSL) announced it was backing down after a tense four-day stand-off with Port Kembla members of the Maritime Union of Australia. Garry Keane, Port Kembla MUA branch secretary, reported to jubilant wharfies and community supporters that CSL had agreed to let “shore-based labour” unload the bulk carrier Capo Noli. The news was reported amid cheers of “MUA: here to stay!” The dispute broke out after CSL attempted to discharge the Capo Noli’s cargo of gypsum using the seafarers on board to do the stevedoring work. CSL claimed that the Capo Noli is a “self-discharging vessel”. However, Dean Summers from the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) explained: “I’ve tracked the Capo Noli all around the world for the past few months. At every port, local dockers go on board and do the work of discharge. Claims that the ship is a self-discharger are dishonest and manipulative.” This is the case for all ships and it is an international norm that unloading is done by local wharfies. The Maltese-registered Capo Noli (the ITF considers Malta a “flag of convenience”) replaced the Australian-registered and -crewed MV Ormiston. The move to have seafarers do the work of local stevedores is the latest attempt by a multinational company to cut costs, intensify the exploitation of Third World workers, and undermine the MUA and wharfie’s job security in Australia. CSL’s provocation outraged the community. A continuous, community-staffed peaceful assembly was installed until the dispute’s resolution, which came after four days of struggle. The peaceful assembly received overwhelming support from the community and other unions. At times there were more than 100 people there, willing to block cranes or trucks if CSL attempted to unload the Capo Noli without local wharfies. A 250-strong peaceful rally was held on June 1. Speakers argued that the Filipino seafarers on board the ship were not to blame for the situation. “We have a great deal of solidarity with the workers on board the Capo Noli”, said Sharan Burrow, president of the Australian Council of Trade Unions.
Australian union members at the gates of Port Kembla during the Capo Noli dispute (photo courtesy of the MUA)
“They are members of the international working community and deserve the same conditions and wages as workers here in Australia. But this is denied to them. Multinational shipping companies are making a dollar from exploiting these workers. This move by CSL is about exploiting workers here and overseas.” Port Kembla wharfies were inundated with messages of solidarity from around Australia and internationally, including from San Francisco and Strasbourg. At the peaceful assembly, flags and banners could be seen from many unions, including the Transport Workers Union; the Health Services Union; the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union; and the Fire Brigade Employees Union.
Warren Smith, the MUA’s Sydney branch secretary, brought solidarity greetings along with busloads of Sydney MUA members to the rally. They were met with rapturous applause as they marched to the dock. Keane explained the resolution of wharfies and their supporters: “We were going to be here for as long as it took.” After the announcement of CSL’s backdown, the crew of the Capo Noli emerged from the ship to congratulate MUA members and their supporters and were warmly welcomed at the victory celebrations. From Green Left Weekly issue #712, 6 June 2007. http://www.greenleft.org.au/2007/712/36984
The Maritimes | June/July 2007 | 17
HEALTH AND SAFETY
Case for a Methyl Bromide ‘link’ By Ian Shaw Interest in the fumigant methyl bromide and its role in the Port Nelson motor neuron disease cases has resurged as Nelson hill dwellers are warned of the risk to them from simply breathing the air blowing over the hills from the port. There has been much discussion about whether the cases of motor neuron disease in Nelson port workers were caused by their exposure to the fumigant methyl bromide. The families think they were and the port thinks they weren’t. This is exactly what you might expect; the families want to know why their loved ones died of an incredibly rare disease and the port does not want to accept liability. But are these the people best qualified to make this cause-and-effect judgment? Clearly not because they are biased and don’t have the specialist scientific knowledge. It is important to look at the facts of the Nelson cases first and then try to interpret them. The facts are that between 1995 and 2005, 16 cases of MND occurred in the Nelson area. Of these, six had worked in the port and three had worked with, or close to, the methyl bromide wood fumigating unit. Of the six port-associated cases, five occurred between 2002 and 2005. The world incidence of MND is two in 100,000 of the population per annum. Port Nelson has about 150 employees and so based on this alone the incidence of MND is many thousands of times greater than the world incidence, which suggests a link between working in the port and developing MND. This is my interpretation. Now enter the Nelson Marlborough Public Health Service which set up a study to decide whether exposure to methyl bromide at Port Nelson was responsible for the cases. It concluded that it was not. The study looked at the MND cases from the port as being members of the Nelson population and used the popu18 | The Maritimes | June/July 2007
lation statistics of Nelson and not the port to do the calculation and concluded that the incidence was about what you might expect for a population of some 87,000. I think it was wrong to do this because all of the MND patients were from the very much smaller port sub-population. So we have two different interpretations. But why so? Surely it is easy enough to decide whether a toxic chemical like methyl bromide causes MND? A quick look at this terrible disease and the research surrounding the search for its cause provides some explanation. MND is a progressive, debilitating, inevitably fatal and very rare disease. It involves a biochemical defect in the spinal cord which prevents nerve impulses going from the brain to the muscles of the limbs; the result is paralysis. Its cause is unknown, but we do know that there are clear risk factors for the disease. For example, there is genetic predisposition - MND can run in families. In addition, it is becoming increasingly clear that the effects of highly reactive chemicals called free radicals might be important. Normal cells have the ability to mop up these chemicals, so protecting themselves from the devastating effects. In fact, some MND patients have an inborn defect in the gene that codes for the free radical mopping up apparatus in their cells. If a person with this defect is exposed to chemicals that are able to generate free radicals they are more likely to get the deleterious effects than someone with a normal, healthy free radical mopping up apparatus in their cells. MND is likely to be a multifactorial disease with several, if not many, potential causes (risk factors). The more of these that come together in one person, the more likely that person is to develop the disease. So what are free radicalgenerating chemicals? There are many. Some are produced naturally within normal cells,
which is probably why the mopping up mechanism is so important to protect cells from their own reactive chemicals. Others are produced by chemicals that we might be exposed to and that are activated to form free radicals by the chemical processes within cells. One such chemical is methyl bromide. It is a well known free radical generator and is highly toxic for this reason. You might think that this is, “case proven, m’lord.” Alas, this is not the way cause and effect relationships work in toxicology. It is simply not possible to say with certainty that methyl bromide would cause MND in a person exposed to it. But what we can say is that the risk of contracting MND is likely to be greater for a person exposed to a free radical generating chemical such as methyl bromide. And that the risk would be even greater if other risk factors, like genetic predisposition, were also present. To firm up the cause-effect relationship, it clearly is not possible to dose volunteers the chemical to see if they develop MND. It is also not possible to do animal studies because there is not a good animal model for MND. The only way of gathering cause and effect evidence is to look around the world to see if exposure to methyl bromide is associated with MND.
MND is very rare and exposure records for patients are often incomplete; in addition, exposure can theoretically be many years before the development of the disease as it is a slow progressive disorder and no one knows how long after exposure to the risk factors the symptoms of the disease appear. There are, however, anecdotal relationships like a case I have been involved with recently in Israel where the patient worked in a methyl bromide manufacturing plant. These all provide evidence that supports, but does not prove, the link. Nevertheless, in my opinion the evidence points strongly to a link between working at Port Nelson and contracting MND. Methyl bromide is a free radical generating chemical and MND is known to be associated with a defect in the body’s ability to deal with these chemicals. The port uses methyl bromide as a wood fumigant and some, if not all, of the MND workers were exposed. So it is clear to me that we should not just dismiss this association, but consider it very seriously indeed. Professor Ian Shaw is a toxicologist and pro-vice-chancellor (science) at the University of Canterbury. He worked for 12 years in a MND research group in the UK and has published on the causal mechanisms of MND. This article is reproduced with the kind permission of the author, and the Nelson Mail and Christchurch Press, where it appeared on 5 April 2007.
“The evidence points strongly to a link between working at Port Nelson and contracting MND”
Auckland Local 13 by Russell Mayn
Safeguarding waterfront work Ports of Convenience – how far away are they from becoming a reality? Recently in Auckland we had the issue on the MV Buzzard Bay where the crew were ordered to remove the lashing. Lashing is a core duty for stevedores. The Buzzard Bay did not have an ITF agreement. Following the dispute in Auckland, the Capo Noli – a bulk Gypsum vessel chartered by CSL – was also involved in a dispute at Port Kembla, Australia. Seafarers were being instructed to operate the cranes to discharge cargo. This vessel had an ITF agreement in place. Both these issues have been resolved and traditional Dockers work has been preserved, but not without a fight. It seems that we are going to be faced with ongoing problems as our work coverage is challenged. Firstly a big thanks to the ITF and the role they played in defending the position the Auckland Dockers took over the lashing onboard the MV Buzzard Bay. There is no alternative, Unions must protect their work. The best way of doing this is to ensure that all vessels we work on have an ITF agreement, with a Dockers clause protecting traditional work coverage. Secondly thanks to the membership in Tauranga who followed up with an ITF inspection on the MV Buzzard Bay when it docked at the Port of Tauranga. The support we received internationally was outstanding and without this the outcome may have been different. This again was highlighted in the Australian dispute on the Capo Noli. Local Unions and the community manned a picket and the ITF swung into action in support of the Dockers clause. Struggles such as these can only be won with well organised support both locally and internationally.
Prime Minister Helen Clark with Gary Parsloe and Russell Mayn at the 2007 May Day function
Congratulations to the MUA and all of their supporters on defending the rights of Australian workers in this dispute.
Kiwisaver and superannuation Kiwi Saver has arrived on the scene and with it a new set of challenges for the Waterfront Industry Superannuation Fund and its members. Some of us thought we had it sorted out and then the budget arrived and everything changed. The tax incentives may make this a very attractive option for a number of workers not only in the Waterfront Industry but throughout New Zealand. One wonders what position the average working man would be in now if the Labour Government’s compulsory superannuation scheme had not been scrapped by the National Government all those years ago. I think the answer to this is simple, everyone in New Zealand would be better off now. In principle I think that Kiwi Saver is a positive step forward and should be applauded. The problem is whether a lot of families earning a low income will be able to take advantage of the scheme as they are already fully committed to just trying to make ends meet. The Waterfront Industry Superannuation Fund hopefully will have a Kiwi Saver option in place shortly, and the
best place to ask any questions regarding this option will be at stopwork meetings. Once the Kiwi Saver option has been approved it is the intention of the Fund manager to visit Stopwork meetings around the country.
Agreements Local 13 is in negotiations with the Port Company and to date not a lot of progress has been made in settling a new Collective Agreement. Wallace Investments and TLNZ agreements are also up for negotiations so hopefully we will be able to report in the next magazine that these have all been successfully concluded.
Amalgamation Following a lack of final agreement in the amalgamation talks, Local 13 will now focus on progressing talks with Branches/ Locals in the Northern region to explore the advantages of working more closely together. This I believe is long overdue as we are dealing with the same employers and the same issues. Regionalisation is a powerful organising tool and has the potential to utilise resources in a more efficient way.
This does not mean that smaller Branches lose their identity or their voice within the Maritime Union of New Zealand. What it does mean is that a stronger and more reactive structure can benefit the membership at the workplace. Health and Safety, Interport transfers, stopwork meetings and the day to day disputes that arise can be handled at a local and regional level. The outcome everyone wants is protection and increased benefits. Things won’t change overnight but with commitment from all the Branches how we do business will improve.
Interport 2008 The 2008 Interport Sports Tournament will be held in Whangarei next year, details will be faxed and emailed to all Branches/ Locals by the end of June. This tournament is not to be missed and I urge all past and present members who have not been involved before to give it a go, you will not be disappointed. “Touch One Touch All”.
The Maritimes | June/July 2007 | 19
Dave Morgan, Joe Fleetwood, Ruka Rarere, Darril Rob and Tasi Pauii at Wellington May Day 2007 celebrations
Wellington Seafarers by Joe Fleetwood
May Day Dinner The Wellington branch executive, rank and file and partners attended the Wellington May Day dinner, and also ex National President Dave Morgan was a guest of the branch. Two tables of 10 were booked by the branch. The soon to be retiring President of the Council of Trade Unions Ross Wilson was the main speaker, concentrating on the strength and unity of the trade union movement and the need to campaign now to retain a Labour led government. MC Sheryl Cadman, national organizer for the National Distribution union supplemented Ross Wilson’s speech, then summed up by wishing all the best and thanking all for turning up. I would like to thank the Local Affiliates Council for putting in the time and effort in making the May Day Dinner such a success, also the band, and all the members of the Maritime Union that attended. United we stand, divided we crawl.
20 | The Maritimes | June/July 2007
Minister of Transport – Annette King Maritime Union officials Trevor Hanson, Garry Parsloe, and myself Joe Fleetwood together with Rod Grout of Pacifica Shipping and the New Zealand Shipping Federation met with the Minister of Transport on 10 May 2007. For many years the big foreign multinational ship owners have been exploiting the disgraceful NZ open coast policy section 198 of the Maritime Transport Act. They have shown no social responsibility to New Zealand workers and the economy with massive profits going off shore to line the foreign fat cats pockets. Maersk one of the biggest shipping companies in the world carries a large proportion of world cargo and approximately 40% of NZ imports and exports. Maersk are seeking clarification of section 198 because they believe back loading on the NZ coast is justifiable. Stemming from this action there is now a court case between the Crown (Ministry of Transport) and Maersk. The Maritime Union and the Shipping Federation have been asked to join forces with the Crown and we are still awaiting the court hearing.
It is great to finally see a Minister that takes pride in the position she holds in our Government. Annette King was on the money and understood the issues we put forward to her. These included our concerns about port privatization and the Roadways to waterways strategy, and the need for a strong and vibrant eco-friendly coastal shipping industry employing New Zealand maritime workers.
National Council Meeting This May council meeting was a long one spread over four days but good because it was heavily attended by the rank and file. This was due to the Maritime Union attending the RMTU Port forum to discuss the amalgamation of the two unions. Just concentrating on the amalgamation talks it was good to meet and hear the views of the RMT rank and file from around the country, which are very close to the thinking of MUNZ members on the coal face. Seven members from the Wellington branch attended the national council and the joint forum.
The members raised their concerns with me and on the day that when asked about the seafarers concerns they were told don’t worry, seafarers don’t factor and will be put in the corner and you will run your own shop. That remark went down like a cold cup of sick. The impostor copped a spray then left the workshop so they could continue with constructive union business. The Wellington branch works very closely with the RMT rank and file at the Ferry Terminal and on the Wellington Waterfront. We believe the two sets of National officials couldn’t reach agreement on behalf of their unions on amalgamation, and have now parted in good faith. I would like to thank the National officials of MUNZ for the time and efforts they all put in. We still look forward to working with the RMTU rank and file and organizers when the need arises.
NIWA The NIWA Agreement seems to be done and dusted, all bar the signing of the Collective agreement which will be happening in June. I would like to thank the crews for ratifying a Union Collective Agreement, and also Eddie Fox one of the ships delegates for his help and contribution at the negotiating table. Thanks Comrades.
Off Shore Members, just to inform you that the New Zealand offshore is slowing down which will see several vessels leaving the coast in the June-July and early August period. There will be a big void for a while. The warning is that any members thinking of leaving a permanent job to work in a casual industry like the offshore, stop to think about all the unemployed seafarers that sit on the data base for two months with no pay and then tell me that it was a great idea. On a personal note the branch would like to thank all the members that put there hands up to be ship board delegates. www.munz.org.nz
PORT ROUNDUPS The union need strong men/women that are willing to administer the union collective we have in place and not be robbed by the rogue employer (you know who you are).
Strait Shipping/Terminal/ Stevedores It is great to be able to inform the membership that the Wellington Seafarers/Waterfront Branch has taken the first Picton Terminal/Stevedore agreement to ratification. It received a 100% unanimous vote by all members. They now have a union collective agreement in place for the next two years. I would like to thank the members that are covered by the collective, and the two delegates Ebony Hunter and Angelique Imms for putting in a lot of hard work behind the scenes for the members. Also thanks to joint advocate John Whiting for showing leadership at the negotiating table. Kia kaha – tatau tatau – be strong we are all one.
Strait Shipping/ Seafarers agreement The branch initiated bargaining mid April 2007 due to the collective agreement expiring mid June 2007. All remits have been sorted and contract talks commence this month, with members seeking a two year agreement.
CTU Women’s Conference The Wellington Dockers/ Seafarers Branch are jointly sending five rank and file women to attend this conference held in Wellington on 29/30 June. Maritime Union members attending will be Marianne Leslie (Wellington executive), Tania Kahui (Wellington women’s officer), Angelique Imms (Picton terminal delegate), Lana Kerr (activist) and Ebony Hunter (Picton terminal delegate.) All the best comrades.
John Brown, Joe Fleetwood, Alan “Scruff” Windsor and Glen Wyllie at the Wellington Picnic Day
ITF Affiliates Meeting May 2007
The General Secretary recently sent a letter to all branches informing them to be vigilant about unknown vessels coming into your ports that you have never seen before. On behalf of the Union I have been mad-dogging the Department of Labour/Immigration about foreign vessels manned with foreign crews creeping in to New Zealand waters on short term agreements given to them by the Government. The vessel Sonne is a prime example. A full German crew were given the right to survey New Zealand waters for three months with no New Zealand seafarers engaged. Another one was the cable layer Il De Rae. It never worked but it will be back along with other vessels this year. These are our waters and we demand the right to work them. We need to know about all foreign vessels that visit your ports so we can jump on them. If we don’t we will see more and more foreign vessels and foreign seafarers doing New Zealand seafarers work on board these vessels and they will do New Zealand dockers work too.
After initiating bargaining in August 2006 and not getting to the table until mid December, talks have been progressing very slowly. After many years of neglect it is virtually impossible to come to an agreement that satisfies all members. Currently we have had about 10 meetings with the company and in late April took a proposal to all vessels, which was overwhelmingly rejected. Since then we have had more meetings. As at printing the Wellington executive think we could be close to taking a proposal back to the vessels.
The ITF Affiliates Meeting was held in Wellington at the Maritime Union National office in May. It was attended by Maritime Union, RMTU, National Distribution Union, msg and ITF rep Graham Young from the Seafarers division in London. Many national and international issues were discussed. National Vice President Garry Parsloe has written a report on ITF Fair Practice in Sorrento, but he was unavailable to attend the meeting as he was attending another meeting at the same time for the Union. As yet we haven’t received an official report from the the New Zealand Seafarers representative Helen McAra (MSG) who sits on the Fair Practice committee that addresses all global issues of seafarers.
The Maritimes | June/July 2007 | 21
Gisborne by Dein Ferris
Maritime Union members at the Ports Forum, Wellington, May 2007, from left Tony Eyles (Nelson), Ken Knox (Nelson), John Oâ€™Neill (Auckland Seafarers)
Nelson by Bill Lewis
Seafarers employment Our Nelson Branch has been benefiting from full employment for our seafarers with work on Cook Strait and the offshore sector being buoyant. The New Zealand offshore oil and gas operations multiparty collective employment agreement was negotiated with Joe Fleetwood and Mike Clark as principal negotiators. A substantial gain has been agreed in all categories and runs for three years. Members should always ponder on how these contracts are concluded as these are the mainstay of our industry. We must also observe what is provided in the conditions and insist that nothing less will be accepted. All members who ship out in the Maritime Union of Australia offshore or blue water fleet are reminded to notify their local branches or the Wellington secretary each time they leave for employment. This is so their whereabouts is known on both sides of the Tasman. A shortage of seafarers in our offshore may occur from time to time and our needs have to be taken into account to protect our labour requirements at a national level. 22 | The Maritimes | June/July 2007
Methyl Bromide The Methyl Bromide issue is still alive with the Campaign Against Toxic Sprays group testing the Nelson City Council to issue resource consent when the gas is used to fumigate logs, timber packs or containers. The fumigant company oppose this. We understand the old method that has been outlawed in Nelson is being used in Picton. A group of local residents are opposed to the gas being released into the atmosphere as a northerly wind vents off the present site to nearby residential areas.
Port Kembla dispute The branch has sent a fax of solidarity to the Port Kembla branch of the Maritime Union of Australia regarding the use of ships marine crew doing dockers work. This is a good working example of the trans Tasman agreement between MUNZ and the MUA.
Superannuation It is relevant that the new Government Super Scheme has been implemented for all New Zealanders after decades of indecision. Take the case of a freezing worker in the last compulsory scheme in 1974 introduced by the Labour Government and
repealed by National less than two years later. His contribution of $500 accumulated to $13000 this year with no other contributions but on compound interest alone. The seafarers scheme (now the SRF) was negotiated and implemented in 1972 and was a credit to D. Morton and T. Adams who had the foresight which gave all our members a decent retirement. The original employee contribution was daily basic 20 cents and employers 40 cents.
Nuclear Free The twentieth anniversary of nuclear free legislation was reached this year. The nuclear free legislation was the result of a hard fought campaign stemming from protests at visiting nuclear armed and propelled US warships to New Zealand ports in the 1970s. Solid action was taken by waterfront workers, harbour board workers and seafarers. The New Zealand protestors were so successful in lobbying the Labour Party that it became policy and flowed through to legislation which still stands today. We paid a heavy price for this from the US and UK but were looked upon as leaders in the world peace movement.
After a reasonably successful squash season the work for us to date has been fairly steady. As well as our regular diet of mill products we have been kept busy doing a few kiwifruit vessels with more projected until around August. We have also managed to slip in a couple of interport transfers, one to Napier and one to Nelson. Good for some of the younger guys to see how the other half live. On a different note, and at the time of writing the district is experiencing drought conditions, lots of sunshine and high tempratures for this time of the year. Good for tourists, not good for the farmers. When you are a small port we only have small reports, things seem to just tick over okay. So from the sunshine city, the surfs been up too. Ka Kite Ano.
Timaru by Kevin Forde Things have quietened down a bit here. We have been working on Maersk, Hamburg Sud, fishing vessels, fertilizer and sawn timber. Some cross-hiring has been going on with some of our men going down to Dunedin. After an incident a few weeks back, Tasman Asia have new pins on their containers.
PORT ROUNDUPS Maritime Union Branch and Local Contacts Whangarei Mobile: 021 855121 Fax: 09 459 4972 Address: PO Box 397, Whangarei Auckland Seafarers Phone: 09 3032 562 Fax: 09 3790 766 Mobile: 021 326261 Address: PO Box 1840, Auckland Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Auckland Local 13 Phone: 09 3034 652 Fax: 09 3096 851 Mobile: 021 760887 Address: PO Box 2645, Auckland Email: email@example.com Mount Maunganui Phone: 07 5755 668 Fax: 07 5759 043 Mobile: 0274 782308 Address: PO Box 5121, Mt. Maunganui Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Napier members Gavin McNaught and Joe Kelly at Worker’s Memorial Day (photo by Bill Connelly)
Napier by Bill Connelly
Around and about The port is starting to get a bit quieter, now that most of the seasonal exports are coming to an end.
Ohope Beach accommodation in New Zealand Unfortunately the holiday accommodation at Ohope Beach has now been sold. All the members, both locally and nationally, will have fond memories of their stays at Ohope Beach. Through this edition of the “Maritimes” the Napier Branch would like to say a big thank you to both Bob and Joan Batt, who have looked after the property, since it was purchased by the Branch in 1986. They have never tired of doing the everyday things that are associated with owning a property, so much so that their own property quite often took second place to ours on occasion. Bob and Joan have just returned from a well earned holiday on the Gold Coast, which the Napier Branch gifted to them for a job well done.
Gold Coast accommodation in Australia The Branch is not taking any bookings for the apartment at the moment, as it is going on the market in early November 2007.
Agreements and current negotiations Hawke’s Bay Stevedoring Services Limited The current Agreement expires on 28 February 2008.
Toll Logistics New Zealand Limited Toll’s Agreement expires on 31 December 2008.
Kelcold Limited: Their current Agreement expired on 6 October 2006 and we are currently in mediation to try and get some form of movement for a new Collective Agreement. The members at Kelcold have been very patient, but I can tell their patience is wearing thin and they are hopeful that mediation can achieve some sort of agreement. Fingers crossed and ever hopeful.
Worker’s Memorial Day For the second year in a row, the weather did not look kindly on us and it rained and rained. Since that day Hawke’s Bay, along with most of the country, have been reasonably dry and the farmers complaining about the lack of moisture. Regardless of the weather the day was well attended once again with about a hundred workers from both the RMTU and MUNZ ceasing work and paying their respects and also remembering their fallen comrades. Speakers included VicePresident of the CTU Helen Kelly, our local Labour MP Russell Fairbrother, and RMTU organiser Todd Valster. The service was conducted by the Port Chaplain, Neville Stephenson. After the service we all adjourned to the main entrance of the port to unveil a memorial plaque to Rep Taana, who was tragically killed at the port last year. His daughter unveiled the plaque, with brother Phil in close attendance.
Gisborne Local 38 Mobile: 025 6499697 Address: 5 Murphy Road,Gisborne Email: email@example.com New Plymouth Mobile: 021 479269 Address: PO Box 659, New Plymouth Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Napier Phone/Fax: Mobile: Address: Email:
06 8358 622 027 6175441 PO Box 70, Napier email@example.com
Wellington Seafarers Phone: 04 3859 288 Fax: 04 3848 766 Mobile: 021 364649 Address: PO Box 27004, Wellington Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Wellington Waterfront Phone: 04 8017 619 Fax: 04 3848 766 Mobile: 021 606379 Address: PO Box 2773, Wellington Email: email@example.com Wellington Stores and Warehouse Local 21 Phone: 04 3859 520 Fax: 04 3848 766 Address: PO Box 27004, Wellington Nelson Mobile: Fax: Address:
027 6222691 03 5472 104 PO Box 5016, Nelson
Lyttelton Local 43 Phone: 03 3288 306 Fax: 03 3288 798 Mobile: 0274 329620 Address: PO Box 29, Lyttelton Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Timaru Phone/Fax: 03 6843 364 Mobile: 021 2991091 Address: PO Box 813, Timaru Port Chalmers Dunedin Local 10 Phone: 03 4728 052 Fax: 03 4727 492 Mobile: 0274 377601 Address: PO Box 44, Port Chalmers Email: email@example.com Bluff Phone/Fax: Mobile: Address: Email:
03 2128 189 027 4475317 PO Box 5, Bluff firstname.lastname@example.org
The Maritimes | June/July 2007 | 23
PORT ROUNDUPS MUNZ/RMTU Amalgamation
John Whiting, Bryan Tubby and Gerry Hill at the launch of ‘Paddy the Wanderer’ (see review page 31)
Wellington Waterfront by John Whiting
Strait Shipping The negotiations for a collective agreement to cover our members employed in Picton by Strait Shipping have been completed. Joe Fleetwood and myself attended the ratification where
the members endorsed their first collective document. The agreement contains all the standard clauses we expect in a collective and includes the availability of superannuation in the second year. We congratulate the Picton members on their achievement.
Pacifica The Wellington collective agreement has been renewed for a one year term with a wage increase acceptable to this group of our members.
Wellington Port Cold Stores Our branch has received notification from this employer of possible redundancies applying from the end of the 2007 year. The reason given is non renewal of a blast - freezing contract from a local export meat plant. This threat to a group of very low paid workers confirms what we well know – any downturn is soon loaded onto workers backs.
The decision to cease the process of amalgamation of the two unions representing workers in the maritime industry is seen by our Branch as unfortunate and not in the best interests of the memberships we represent. All the considerable efforts of time, energy and expertise put in by the negotiators that have seen all the boxes ticked, less two left in the too hard basket (namely the issues of appointed organisers and regionalisation) now leaves a sense of failure that Wellington members at least do not believe is where we should be at. Our Branch, particularly in all matters concerning the Port Company will continue to operate with the local RMTU Port Branch as a single effective unit knowing that what we are doing locally is possible nationally and that amalagmation will be revisited in the future. To knock over a matter as important as this begs the question. Are we men or mice?
Andrew Parker and Himi Bristowe at the Wellington picnic day
24 | The Maritimes | June/July 2007
Wellington Picnic Day by Tony Mowbray, 1154, Wellington Branch I’d like to start with a sincere thanks to all branch officials and executive members for the financial contribution to make the day as successful as it was. The weather on the day looked a bit shaky to start with but cleared by lunchtime and gave us a great afternoon with the exception of a few good gusts that had little effect on events.
The hot plates ran pretty much throughout the day with everyone satisfied in the food department. Kids entertainment included the usual egg and spoon races, sack races and a series of tug of wars as well as an inflatable “jumpy castle” that was put to great use by anyone under four foot. A good contingent of watersiders and their families were in attendance and it was pleas-
ing to see a greater number of seafarers and their families this year. On behalf of the Committee, I’d like to thank everyone who came and helped make the day possible. Hopefully these Picnic Days will become larger and more popular every year to boost the social interaction amongst our membership.
New Plymouth by Ryan Cox Our branch is pleased to announce that three trainees have been taken on: Hemi Rawiri, Pat Candy and Tansley Ratapu. All have been casuals with us for sometime now, and I’m sure they will do well. One of our long serving members Mr Murray Moratti #210 has retired. Murray started on the waterfront in December 1970. He has long been a skilled operater and also a mentor to new members. We wish you all the best, Murray. We as a branch and port have suffered a great tragedy in the passing of Paul Chard, one of our youngest members. Paul will always be remembered as a dear friend to all. He will be sadly missed.
Lyttelton by Les Wells
Tug O War at the Wellington picnic day
It has been very quiet in the port for the last couple of months. We had our branch elections in May with John Jefferies taking on the position of Vice President. I would like to thank Graeme Chandler for the work he has done as Vice President. We are in the process of taking remits for Pacifica so we are not far away from getting into action. Lyttelton Port Company have just taken 7 PRPs up to fulltime and are looking at rebuilding the PRP pool. Pincher Martin passed away on the night of 18 June 2007 at his home in Lyttelton. A full obituary will be printed in the next edition of the Maritimes.
From left, Andrew Parker, Mike Mace, Garry Carter, Hank Elliott and Mark Samoa at the Wellington picnic day www.munz.org.nz
The Maritimes | June/July 2007 | 25
Bluff by Ray Fife Since the last edition the port has been steady particularly with logs, where we have seen a steady increase in the number of logs that have gone through the port. On the other hand sawn timber has declined due to the high New Zealand dollar. Fishing Trawlers visiting the port to discharge their cargo were well up on previous years due to the plentiful supply of fish in the southern ocean. Kerry Gillan, hatchman on the log ship, Bluff (photos by Harry Holland)
Southern Cross Restructuring Their plans to restructure all branches throughout New Zealand came to a halt at this port. A number of ports have had to accept some changes and down sized their workforce to remain viable, but how can they justifiably ask for concessions at a port where we have not been able to fully man ships on a regular basis now because of the lack of skilled men. It is still a wait and see situation but the resolve of the members is that we will not be prepared to move because of the current situation.
Recognition must be given to Barrie Bowmar who retired at the end of April this year after being a member of this Union for 45 years. Barrie started working on the Bluff Waterfront on the 5th February 1962 as a 19 year old. At the time he joined, there were 400 plus wharfies in the union. All jobs were labour intensive, particularly loading carcasses of meat where a meat vessel would have 120 men and would be in port 3 weeks or more to be fully loaded. The arrival of containerization in the seventies saw a reduction in the amount of cargo go through the port but Barrie said that port reform in 1989 was the most significant change that he had gone through up until then. He said that since then we have steadily gone downhill and who would believed 30 years ago with a union of 400 men that we would be down to 20 permanents today. Barrie said that he made life long friendships through working on the wharf, has a lot of fond memories, went through the good times and the bad but has no regrets. We all wish Barrie the very best in his retirement.
Retirements Scooter from Port Chalmers hard at it, 17 November 2006, Bluff
Our Branch President Wayne Finnerty (Finno) has left the company he was working for and resigned as President of our Branch in early April. Even though he has not reached retirement age, for various reasons he decided to hand in his notice. Finno was an effective and respected President who easily got on with everyone and had the interests of the union at heart. We would like to wish Finno all the best in his future endeavours.
Discharging windmill gear from the â€˜Elandsgrachtâ€™ in Bluff on 17 November 2006, unlashing is John Wright of Bluff and Gerald from Port Chalmers, looking on is foreman Steve Robinson from Bluff 26 | The Maritimes | June/July 2007
PORT ROUNDUPS So as you can see from the above we had a very successful range of activities in Auckland around May Day 2007.
Branch elections The Auckland Seafarers Branch elections have been concluded with the results from 1 March 2007:
Auckland Branch Executive President: John O’Neill Vice President: Kevin Rooney Secretary: Garry Parsloe Mario Merovic, Fred Salelea and Garry Parsloe at the May Day 2007 rally
Auckland Seafarers by Gary Parsloe
Auckland May Day 2007 The Auckland Unions celebrated both International Workers Day and Workers Memorial Day at the May Day function that was held at the Onehunga RSA on Saturday 28 April 2007. As Chairman of the May Day Committee, I opened the function by welcoming all the delegates, officials and friends of the Trade Union movement. I welcomed both Keith Locke MP and Sue Bradford MP from the Greens and Darien Fenton MP and Lynne Pillay MP from Labour. CTU Secretary Carol Beaumont was our first speaker. Carol’s speech was well received by all the Unions as she took the time to mention every Union and spoke on some of their current activities. All the Unions acknowledged Carol’s massive contribution to the Trade Union movement. We then welcomed Prime Minister Helen Clark. Helen addressed the function on many issues and concluded on what was the most important issue, that of working hard to ensure that there was not a change of Government at the next election.
A change of Government would mean an immediate attack on the current Employment Relations legislation resulting in massive damage to workers conditions of employment. After Helen’s speech we were treated to an excellent dinner which was followed by the Union Made Choir. The Choir really set the tone for the evening. They had all the delegates singing along. Union presentations were given by the UNITE Union, the Maritime Union, the Service and Food Workers Union, and the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union. All the presentations were well received as the speakers reported on past and current disputes and on some of the struggles that are still before us. The speeches were concluded with a presentation for Workers Memorial Day, an acknowledgement of workers who have lost their lives as a result of work place accidents. There was a lot of work put into making the function the success that it was and most of that work was done by Linda Holt of the PSA. Thanks Linda for a job well done.
Aotea Square Rally On Tuesday 1 May 2007, we assembled at the bottom of Queen Street at 5pm where we offered speakers an open mic
to speak on workers issues to the rally. At 5.45pm we marched from the bottom of Queen Street to Aotea Square. At Aotea Square the delegates and activists were treated to a BBQ cooked up by Todd Douglas and Phil Graham both from AWUNZ. As Chairman of the May Day Committee I had the privilege of introducing the speakers. The first speaker was Secretary of the Council of Trade Unions Carol Beaumont. Carol was followed by Ivan Sowerby (Green Party), EPMU Delegates and Daphna Whitmore (SFWU). All speakers spoke on current issues with the EPMU and SFWU reporting on current disputes that their Unions were involved in. After the speeches some of the Delegates went down to the Maritime Club where they continued the May Day celebrations well into the evening. Other delegates went to the University of Auckland’s Lecture Theatre to hear Nicky Hager, Dr. Raymond Miller, Laila Harre, Carol Beaumont and I all give speeches and assist in the Auckland launch of Nicky Hager’s latest book, the Hollow Men. This part of the evening was very interesting with a very lively debate coming from those delegates who attended the launch.
Executive: Brian Ford, Sean Kelleher, Vince McClafferty, Peter Davis. Fullers Executive: Marine: Lester Sowerby, Daniel Staley Customer Services: Raghavendra Attigodu, Merewalesi Mock Maintenance: Carl De Wild Health and Safety Delegate: Jennifer Neilsen Finance Committee: Garry Parsloe, Kevin Rooney, Brian Ford Disputes Committee: Garry Parsloe, John O’Neill, Kevin Rooney Health & Safety Committee: Garry Parsloe, Jennifer Neilson, Sean Kelleher Old Timers Committee: Garry Parsloe, Vince McClafferty, Peter Davis
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Port Chalmers Dunedin by Phil Adams Greetings from the South. As the winter approaches the days are shorter but the weather has been very good, although winds have caused some havoc at times in the Terminal which led to some containers being blown into the harbour. This in turn caused some shipping problems.
Port Otago The terminal has been very busy and weekend work is the norm at the moment. Shipping movements are well ahead of last year and we seem to be heading towards doing around 170 000 TEUs. As a result of this the company are putting on a dine and dance at the Dunedin Town Hall to reward those who have put the work in. We have recently negotiated very good premiums for the long days in the weekend and stat days, and also 3rd shifts in weekends and stat days. On the long days the drivers drive for an hour and then have an hour off, thus keeping them in a fresh state which helps with safety and productivity. As a result of this our numbers continue to increase in the Terminal and this will see us eventually adopting a roster which would be to everyoneâ€™s satisfaction.
Port Chalmers Cargo Services
Not a wind up: a container is recovered from Otago Harbour after the windiest day of the year. Four empty containers were blown off the Port Chalmers wharf on the morning of Sunday 27 May after winds of 75 knots (139 km/h) were measured at the Goat Island weather station (photo by Craig Baxter, courtesy of the Otago Daily Times)
Port Chalmers Cargo Services are being kept busy with out of port transfers, fish, logs and phosphate. The local branch have been putting pressure on the company to upgrade the three day guarantee lads up to full 5 day a week jobs. Recently we have had problems with out of port transfers not only coming into our port but those travelling out of our port. Hopefully all has been cleared up for the future. It is good to see things settle down with the parent company which can only be a good thing.
Elections We have recently completed our annual elections and the good thing was we had 12 members running for 5 executive positions. The new executive is President Dave Dick, Vice President Iain Quarrell, Secretary Treasurer Phil Adams, Executive Jeff Duncan, Adam Law, Robert McIntosh, Andrew Jennings and new member Pete Dungey. Pete took the position off Mike Tank Lysaght. We thank Mike for his contribution over the last year, he impressed the National Executive of the Union and we hope he will stand again in the future. 28 | The Maritimes | June/July 2007
PORT ROUNDUPS We have also co-opted Graham Wright from the sheds and Max Cadogan from the “B’s” to attend general business at our Executive meetings. The elections show our branch is in good heart which is a good sign for the future.
Union fees Recently we held a meeting to discuss the fee structure for our branch and a resolution was put and carried that the structure currently in place will continue with a review at our Annual Meeting. The current structure allows us to carry on providing the services that we are well known for.
Holiday Home Alan and Ian report there are some vacancies for the holiday unit in Queenstown, which is available to members from around the country. To contact us for information, ring Ian on 034727216, Alan on 034728753, or the branch on 034728052.
New crane The new crane for the terminal is on its way from China and should be in use around August which will alleviate a lot of the pressure on the three we already have.
Australian trip With the MUA Conference and the Mining and Maritime Conference in Sydney in 2008, our branch is working towards sending over a group of interested members. So far we have 5 going with not only contributions from them each week but the branch financially supporting them as well. We believe these forums are good for bringing people through to official positions.
Port Forum Recently we had the opportunity to send three members along with national executive members Phil Adams and Dave Dick to the RMTU port forum in Wellington for the amalgamation discussions. The two days were constructive and our lads made a good contribution to the debate. The workshops had some good discussion as well. It was noted how both Unions face similar problems and work together well in most ports. However the amalgamation is not going ahead, after no agreement could be made at the final amalgamation committee meeting between the two unions. This will not change our good relationship with the RMTU in this port.
Crew doing dockers work A dispute has just ended as I write in the Australian port of Port Kembla, New South Wales, where crew were being made to discharge gypsum. A picket at the gate has stopped the practice and a large amount of international support also showed the company www.munz.org.nz
involved they were on a hiding to nothing. This type of practice can have disastrous consequences and we have seen a couple of attempts to do similar things in New Zealand. All members around New Zealand should be very conscious of this and contact a delegate or official immediately if you find crew doing work on a vessel. It may seem great to have the lashings dropped before a vessel gets into port but remember that this is watersiders work and if we allow crew to do our work we will see our numbers further diminished.
New member In our port we would like to welcome a new member in Alana Hanson. Yes, she is Trevor’s niece and the daughter of Timaru member Wayne Hanson. Trevor tells me she would make an excellent delegate so we will watch her progress with interest.
Clothing We still have t-shirts, caps and beanies for sale and are currently looking at purchasing jackets. If any members would like a jacket contact the Secretary so we can order them.
Delegate training On a national basis, training for delegates will take place soon, so can those interested put their names down with the Secretary. Remember a strong Union relies on a good delegate system.
Illness Members recovering from illness include Les Kilpatrick, Fraser Adams and Steve White. We wish them all the best for a speedy return to work. It’s good to see Noel Currie back after his setback.
Horse Ohoka Jasper continues to astound us as he has just won his fifth race. Another win and he is in Open Class. One of his owners is cruising the Mediterranean (not on horse winnings) and the General Secretary who has painfully had to back it each start is now recouping his losses. Well that’s about it from Port but as we see the political polls are pointing in favour of a National victory next year (even though we have yet to see any policy). Remember the problems facing our brothers in Australia with their right wing Government, in fact the problems in Port Kembla could be linked to the Tory Government there. I hope members remember our history and remember who introduced the Employment Contracts Act and the rest. On a final note, remember watersiders work is still watersiders work and if any members see crew doing waterfront work report it immediately to a delegate or official.
Mt Maunganui Tauranga by Phil Spanswick Greetings from sunny Mt Maunganui. We are enjoying a lovely dry winter so far.
Workers Memorial Day On International Workers Memorial Day, 28 April 2007, our Mayor Stuart Crosby, unveiled a plaque for those who had been killed on the wharf, on our railways and at sea, in front of 80 members, family and friends.
Unions Tauranga Our Unions Tauranga continue to meet on a monthly basis and we had the pleasure of hosting NZCTU Secretary Carol Beaumont at our last meeting. MUNZ, RMTU and Toll Owens are involved in a Partnership Project which will help develop a best practice employment relations strategy. A delegates’ seminar has been set down for June 7 to work our way through the strategy. The combined Maritime Forum in Wellington on 8/9 June was very beneficial to those who attended.
Casualization Review On Monday 28 May we hosted Peter Harris in the Port. Peter is working on gathering information for the Casualisation Review. Whilst in the Mount, Peter met a Labour Allocator, Sandy Duncan ex Bluff W.I.C. and Management from NZL Group, Toll Owens and a delegation of Casuals.
Negotiations Toll Owens is slowly moving along. Quality Marshalling still to start and United Containers settled. Superannuation/Kiwi Saver meeting is scheduled for 18 June at 2.30pm On 16 May an ITF delegation of Peter Harvey, Terry Blake, Barry Snelgrove and Phil Spanswick inspected the Buzzard Bay and handed over the ITF request for an IYF Agreement which the Captain agreed to pass on to the owners.
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More images of the past
The following images are the second part of a series of photos supplied by retired seaman Alan Phillips of Whangamata. The Maritimes welcomes any contributions of Union History, whether written or pictures, by all current and retired members of the Union, and friends of the Union, which can be sent to the Editor: ‘The Maritimes’, c/o Maritime Union of New Zealand, PO Box 27004, Wellington, New Zealand.
Sid Knight writes
SS Kairanga, 24 November 1953, Newcastle, NSW, Australia Deck crew – only names recorded are Johnny Stoddard (centre front), and Cecil Jarvis (behind him)
MV Kawatiri 2 October 1953 From left, Jack Clare (bosun), Joe (2nd cook), Tom (steward), Dick Winsor, Slim Price, Harry (Chief Cook.) Alan Phillips notes “the cooks were both out of Liverpool, not for them the Union Co menu – Chinese and other exotics made for great cooks”
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Dear Kathy Nice to know you are still there and to read your reports in the Maritimes, it must be heart breaking for you to see these conditions on ships in this day and age. People exploiting people who cannot fight back, who haven’t got the structure around them to do so, if they complain there is always someone else to take their place and they are put on a black list, it is hard to comprehend. Then again you have others who don’t even want to know. I admire you for the work you are doing and what you did for the Seamen’s Union. I am 83 now and what I read and see on TV – it makes one wonder where it will all end. Iraq should never have happened, America’s greed for oil – what a mess it is now, it is not going to be easy for them to get out. Then on the other hand you have the big companies like Maersk taking over the container terminals, maybe they employ shore workers but what about their ships, I have always said that NZ seamen should at least man two of their ships, they take most of our exports and nothing comes back to New Zealand like wages and taxes, instead they employ Asian crews at lower wages. High time they invested in New Zealand by way of employment for New Zealanders. I was always a very proud member of the Seamen’s Union and enjoyed the best of times with great shipmates. I enjoy receiving the Maritimes and keeping up with what’s happening, I pass it around a few old mates, we are always saddened to read of the struggles of the Union to maintain its rightful place – it is heartbreaking to witness the struggles of New Zealand workers in general, but we have faith in the union and confidence in the Union. Sid Knight Retired AB
Ray Young celebrates 90th by Kathy Whelan Two of the nicest people I have met in my 36 years here are Ray and Eileen Young. Ray and Eileen were born in Pitcairn Island – Ray is a direct descendant of Edward Young who was a midshipman on the ‘Bounty’. In 1936 in their early/mid 20s Ray left the island and settled in New Zealand where Ray joined the merchant navy. At the outbreak of war in 1939 Ray joined the ‘Awatea’ and served on that until it was sunk on 11 November 1942. He and Eileen decided to make New Zealand their permanent home and settled in Naenae, Wellington, in 1945. Ray spent his entire life in the maritime industry, most of it at sea, but in 1947 did a stint ashore as a wharfie when his children were growing up. He was locked out in the 1951 Waterfront lockout and to this day still carries his 1951 Loyalty Card in his wallet. He returned to sea in 1962, did a few years on the Trans Tasman run and then joined the interisland line ferries in 1967, serving on 6 vessels as bosun. Ray retired in the mid 1980s and moved to Tauranga in 1987 where he and Eileen still live in retirement. Ray likes a flutter on the horses and is a keen gardener. Ray recently turned 90 and his family who were planning a quiet family celebration contacted me to see if I could help with a photo of his last ship so that they could have a cake modelled on it. Thus I learnt of the incredible age of this very special man, who in his photo looks younger now than he did when I last saw him many years ago. I rang a few people and everyone said the same thing about this lovely couple. Ray and Eileen are still very much in love and totally committed to each other and their family. That they are the nicest and kindest people you could ever meet and if in fact you know Ray and Eileen Young you are all the richer for it. Ray is an excellent seaman – in fact in retirement he and Eileen did a trip back to Pitcairn on a sailing ship and this man who was then well into his 70s excelled in his seafaring skills and ability. He is a quiet man but a fiercely staunch unionist and he is proud to be a seaman and a committed union member. Happy 90th Birthday Ray and our love and warm wishes to both you and Eileen from us all at the Maritime Union.
Book review Paddy the Wanderer by Dianne Haworth (Harper Collins) This book tells the story of Paddy the Wanderer.
Paddy was no ordinary dog and the story of his life has strong connections with the waterfront workers and seamen of 1930s New Zealand. Author Dianne Haworth gives a heartfelt account of a dog whose life was intimately tied up with the life and times of Depression-era Wellington. The Airedale Terrier was the pet of a well to do Wellington family, but took to the road after the death of his young owner. Paddy took to living on the waterfront and was fed and looked after by the local wharfies and taxi drivers. He ate at local pubs and travelled on trams and taxis. He travelled on ships around the New Zealand coast and visited Sydney and Newcastle as the guest of seamen, and at one stage was kidnapped to Auckland (then returned.) in 1932 he was present at the Wellington Depression riots and he was taken for a ride in an aeroplane in 1935. In 1937 he was appointed Honorary Assistant Nightwatchman of the Wellington Harbour Board responsible for hunting out “pirates, smugglers and rodents.” At his death in 1939, a procession of a dozen taxis took him to his funeral. ‘Paddy the Wanderer’ is an easy to read book that would make a quick read for adults and would be enjoyed by younger readers and animal lovers as well as those with an interest in local history. The Maritime Union had several representatives at the successful launch of the book at the Wellington Museum of City and Sea in May 2007. A memorial and plaque to Paddy, and a permanent exhibition about Paddy, can be seen at the Museum.
For further information, see http://www.museumofwellington.co.nz/fact_sheets/paddy.pdf
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NOT AT WORK MATE! The Maritime Union supports a drug and alcohol free workplace. If youâ€™re out of it on the job, youâ€™re a danger to yourself and your workmates. The Maritime Union can offer support, advice and help if you or a mate have a drug or alcohol problem. For further information, contact your Union Branch.
www.munz.org.nz 32 | The Maritimes | June/July 2007
Authorized by Trevor Hanson, General Secretary, 220 Willis Street, Wellington.
Official magazine of the Maritime Union of New Zealand