First Mediation Attempt Fails for Lyttelton Port Workers
Wednesday, March, 28, 2018
The strike resumed recently for two hundred workers involved in a dispute with the Lyttelton Port Company. The two sides had attempted mediation, but the first attempt was unsuccessful and they walked away from the session no closer to a resolution than when they had started.
The organizer from the Rail and Maritime Transport Union, John Kerr, stated the union had participated in good faith in the negotiations and was willing to discuss settlement options without going public with any of the information.
According to Kerr, "The RMTU put eight scenarios for settlement to LPC that would have moved us towards settlement and ended the prospect of further strike action, some of which had negligible cost to the employer. We are dismayed and disappointed to report that LPC has not amended its position one jot.”
Kerr continued, “It appears to us that LPC is unwavering in its determination to attempt to break the will of our members and to inflict unnecessary pain upon the Canterbury economy. Accordingly we have no option but to advise that Lyttelton Port will shut due to industrial action for at least five days from next Tuesday. ”
According to Kerr, the union members just want to be in equal standing with others working on the waterfront. At the moment, they believe they are not receiving the same compensation.
Lyttelton Port Company declined to comment on the negotiations, citing the agreement made to keep the mediation discussions confidential.
A representative from the port did say efforts will be made to minimize the disruption to customers as much as possible and that the company is committed to resolving the dispute.